HL Deb 13 February 1844 vol 72 cc602-80
The Marquess of Normanby

There are some subjects, my Lords, of such urgent and paramount importance in the mind of the speaker, that they completely supersede and banish all considerations of self. And it is under this impulse alone that I am induced to undertake the task, to encounter the discouragement, and bear the responsibility of bringing before your Lordships a subject of such magnitude as that of which I have given notice, but I entertain feelings of such intensity as to the present danger and future prospects of Ireland, that whatever other disqualifications I may labour under for the task, I shall at least address your Lordships with that earnestness of purpose which, as it most merits, has always proved the best passport to your Lordships' attention. I may allude to another feeling, because it has its rise in no merits of my own; it arises, my Lords, from the acts of others. My Lords, I have another inducement to address you on this subject, that even at present, in the midst of all this excitement and all this agitation—to the object of which I am known to be opposed—I daily receive proofs from different parts of Ireland of the kindly recollections entertained by a generous-hearted people of one who had sincerely, as they believed, and as in truth he had, their interests deeply at heart. I am, therefore, induced to intrude on your Lordships, and I do so because no one will deny that there is that in the present state of Ireland which imperiously calls for the immediate attention of Parliament. One year since there was an agitation in that country—for an object, which the prudent believed to be impracticable, which the moderate regarded with disfavour, and which was opposed in this country with a unanimity almost unparalleled. This agitation was headed by an individual who, Whatever his claims may be to the gratitude of his fellow-countrymen hereafter (and I am far from denying the extent of these claims, which I am convinced posterity will recognise)—had, however, by many of his proceedings, rendered himself distasteful to the large majority of the people of this country. What is the state of things in Ireland now? The Repeal of the Union is not one degree less impracticable, but men's minds are diverted from that issue. They canvass freely, they criticise unfavourably, much of the conduct of Government in relation to these proceedings. It was in 1829, in introducing the Roman Catholic Relief Bill, that the present Prime Minister alluded to the then state of the country. He said, that there were 7,000,000 of Catholics united as one man in the support of that measure. I am far from thinking that so great a number are united now in the present agitation, although the Government appears to think so; but this I do think, that Government has wantonly exercised the power of uniting them against itself. But, my Lords, on the occasion to which I have alluded, the Prime Minister also stated, that the vast proportion of the wealth and intelligence of Protestant Ireland were favourable to the concession. The people of Ireland are not now, it is true, united in the same degree on the subject of the Repeal of the Union, but they do unite in calling upon Government to enquire into the state of the country, with a view to doing something to remedy the evils under which they suffer; and it does also appear, that they come forward, some in one way, some in another, to declare themselves opposed to the proceed- ings of the Government. In reference to this, I need only allude to the petition just presented, from the leading Protestants in Belfast, and I have reason to state, with confidence, that the feeling embodied in that petition is increasing, is becoming general among the leading Protestants of Ireland, and that much of this arises from the manner in which the question has been treated. I am about to move a resolution, in which it may perhaps be thought by Government, that there is nothing in principle in which they do not concur. I own that that is not the way in which I view it; and I will tell you that candidly—and I will tell you why—it is because I think the principles included in my Resolution are principles which noble Lords opposite unscrupulously opposed, when they were not in power, to which it is true that they gave some plausible lip homage at the moment of their accession to power, but which they have since utterly neglected; and this I think I shall be able to prove before I sit down. But no other proof of the necessity for inquiring into the subject is wanting, than that contained in the petition presented by my noble Friend? Another noble Friend has another petition to present—a petition, the signatures to which give it a share of that species of authority which petitions of former days possessed, and which induced the then Ministers to alter the course they had been then pursuing towards the Roman Catholics of Ireland. My noble Friend who took the chair on the occasion on which that petition was agreed to—the first hereditary subject in Ireland—is a person adverse to putting himself forward on public occasions, most attached to retirement, and one whom only imperious necessity would induce to take the course which he has pursued—I allude to the Duke of Leinster. These influential men are, one and all, unfriendly to the present proceedings of Her Majesty's Government, and all think that remedial and not coercive measures are what the circumstances of Ireland imperatively require. But is this all? Have not the Government, also, by their conduct, conspired to rouse in England, as well as in Ireland, the feelings of the Catholic body. Have not there been proofs of this fact afforded not only by meetings, but by the letter also from one of the first Catholic noblemen in the country, and one of those most opposed to the hon. and learned Gentleman at the head of the agitation—I allude to the Earl of Shrewsbury, in the sentiments of which the whole Roman Catholic community of England fully concur? All these are things which require that this House should turn its serious attention to the conduct of Government; and I can assure you I speak it with great regret, but with as much sincerity, that I entertain very great alarm as to the present state of Ireland—alarm, my Lords, not indeed of any armed outbreak; but I will not more particularly allude to the nature of what the dread I speak of may be, lest, even by indirectly alluding to it, it might be supposed hereafter, that what I now said actually tended to produce those evils which it is my greatest wish to avert. But, as I commenced by alluding to the kindly feeling shown in Ireland towards myself, I must say that, with respect to any criticisms in which I may indulge on the conduct of Government, or any arguments which I may use against it, I do feel it to be part of my duty to give the most earnest advice to the people of Ireland in favour of patience and obedience to the laws, and I trust that that advice will be there received in the friendly spirit in which I here give it. It appears to me, that when this agitation became formidable, there were two courses open to the Government to pursue, and after having selected one or the other, and followed it up with perseverance, each then might have led to separate and distinct advantages. One of these courses was, to have interfered at once by proclamation, and prosecution, to put down the proceedings complained of. I am, my Lords, far from giving any opinion as to whether such a course would have been a discreet one at the time; but if a course of interference was in contemplation, it would have been more straightforward and more manly to have put it in execution at once. And I say, my Lords, also, that if the Government at that time had in their possession evidence on which they thought they could establish a charge of sedition, it was their bounden duty to have brought it forward at once; and more than this, if it was the intention of Government to have adopted this course—that of not looking at the predisposing cause of agitation until they had put that agitation down—then it would have been desirable to have acted with decision on another account—that of opening and paving the way to those remedial measures to which I tell you, my Lords, you must come at last. But Government did not adopt this policy. I do not blame them for their selection of the course they at the time resolved to pursue; but I do think that it must be obvious that the advantages of the course on which they did enter were contingent, and that its evils were immediate. It would be sure to alienate the affections of some of their more eager friends, and, coupled, as I think it was, with unnecessary violence of expression—to give rise to the impression that they would strike, but they dared not. I must say, too, my Lords, that the best chance for the success of their policy would have been to have accompanied it with remedial measures; but, without expecting them to be just, much less generous, common prudence might have dictated to them that if efficient vigour was not shown, needless irritation should be avoided, and yet they interfere to prevent their own policy from being fairly carried out, by that most senseless step, the dismissal of the magistrates. With this one exception, my Lords, they did appear determined for some time to persevere, in what their friends were good enough to call, their do-nothing policy. But just at the moment when it seemed that they were likely to reap the fruits of a policy which went upon the assumption, that the agitation would wear itself out, when common sense was supposed to have all along pointed out to them that there was that in the nature of this agitation, that it could not long maintain itself at the point it had then reached, and could not go beyond it without entirely changing its character, they stepped in, altered their course, and proceeded to issue proclamations. [Earl Wharactiffe: "Hear, hear."] My noble Friend cheers, but I would be glad to hear from him either an answer or an explanation. It has been said, my Lords, that there was a desire on the part of Government not to give a triumph to one party over another, but it appears that they waited just long enough to give that party a triumph, not over the majority of their fellow-countrymen, but over the Ministers themselves. My Lords, their own organs showed this to be the case, by the contemptuous praise which they bestowed upon the Ministry, for at length adopting the course they had long recommended. These were not simply his opinions. [Lord Wharncliffe: "Hear."] My noble Friend cheers, as if that were a new view of the subject. I am not inclined to attribute to political parties, without the best proof to bring the charge home to them, articles which from time to time appear in the periodicals of the day; I should be very sorry to be responsible for much that had appeared in similar publications with which I might be supposed generally to agree; and certainly it would be very unfair to attribute them, without such proof, to those in office. But in the month of September last my attention was drawn to an article which appeared in one of these periodical publications. I have studied the style much, and think I can trace the hand of an old Friend who knows more of Ireland than any of the noble Lords opposite. The view taken by the writer is friendly to the non-interference of Government with the agitation for the Repeal of the Union—there had been various large meetings in different parts of the country in favour of Repeal; with respect to those meetings which had been held since the accession of the present Government to office, what was said in the Quarterly Review of September last? The preceding great meetings had all ended without a breach of the peace; and the presumption grew stronger and stronger that each succeeding meeting would have a similar peaceable result * * *And no one, we should suppose, would think of trying a nice point of law by an attempt to disperse one, a series of which had hitherto passed off without disturbance * * * He grew stronger in the belief that the Fabian policy will at last defeat him; what will, what can he do, if he cannot provoke the Government or the Protestants to a collision?* * *He may do some public mischief and create much individual distress; but whilst the Government and Protestants can remain on the defensive, he can do no more, and the mischief may be considered as a temporary inconvenience, compared to the calamities which, without a contrary course, would certainly be produced. Such is the opinion of the writer on the policy till then adopted by the Government, and which he no doubt supposed would be consistently pursued. They, however, changed their plans and pursued a course directly opposite, they issued a proclamation on the evening of the day preceding the great intended meeting at Clontarf, that proclamation was postponed to the very evening before the meeting, although every fact of the case had been before the Government three weeks. I should wish to know whether any noble Lord has ever heard a single man, in private conversation, defend the Government in that proceeding, and whether so much rashness, following such unparalleled vacillation, is not perfectly consistent with the whole conduct of this Government. I should like to hear some satisfactory explanation given of such conduct. If it is defended in this House it will be the first time that it has yet been defended either there or in any of the organs of the Government ["Hear, hear," from the Ministerial Benches.] I shrink not from these cheers. If the noble Lords opposite have anything to say in favour of this act of the Government—and it is not a trifling and unimportant act, but art act for the adoption of which their responsibility is great—I am sure that I shall not hear from them any of those taunts which have already been so unsparingly used against those parties with whom the Government has interfered—taunts of cowardice against them, because of the obedience, on the appearance of the proclamation, which they had manifested towards the laws. What the defence of the noble Lords opposite may be I know not, and I will pause for that defence until the noble Lords have an opportunity of converting their cheers into intelligible language. I think it is hardly necessary that I should on this occasion give my own opinions on the question of Repeal, because it happens that I have been in a situation which has enabled me to give that opinion already as strongly as any of their Lordships—not only within those walls, but face to face with a considerable portion of the Irish people. I will pray your Lordships' attention while I allude to one particular instance, and mentioned when it occurred. In the year 1836, while making an excursion to the south of Ireland, I received an address proceeding from a very large proportion of the inhabitants of one of the ridings of Cork, in which those, and they were many, who had previously entertained sentiments in favour of Repeal, had, in consequence of measures which they had every reason to expect would be introduced by the existing Government, given him assurances of altered opinions on the subject of Repeal. On that occasion I stated to them, as the ground on which I thought it fair that the question should be met, that they did me but justice in believing me to be their sincere friend, and that in that sincerity it was, I told them that my opposition to the Repeal of the Union was founded on, and in exact proportion to, my love for Ireland herself. That opinion was given at that time in answer to the Address of nearly 100,000 of the inhabitants of the West Riding of Cork, assembled at Mallow, and embodied the principles of the Resolution which I am about to propose to your Lordships. It was said to me on that occasion, We seek for equality with the British people, common interests, and reciprocity of benefits, and to be legislated for as a part of Great Britain. With less we will not be content. And I told them that with less they should not be content. But when I state my opposition to Repeal, I will say to those who advocate that measure, believing them to be sincere in their declarations that they do not intend to interfere with the rights and prerogatives of the Crown—and if they are not sincere in those declarations, they must be met by other arguments—that Repeal would not secure for them that which they desire from it—that leaving untouched, as the declarations of the Repeal Association propose to do, the prerogatives of the Crown and the privileges of the Peerage, it could not secure to them that power of progressive legislation on many subjects, which is what they really want. But whilst one feels this strongly, it is a perfectly legitimate subject on which any one may entertain a difference of opinion. Even after sixteen years trial of independent legislation, some of the greatest men of that day then in the zenith of their intellect, did not view the question in this light—not merely Irishmen carried along by the first outbreak of overflowing nationality, but a noble Friend of mine now no more, till lately the sound expounder of constitutional law in this House (Lord Holland), and another still living, but prevented by the state of his health from attending (Lord Grey), who had long been the first ornament of your Lordships' House—if we go to Ireland, we find that almost every leading man of different parties, who has since been a sharer in the government of that country, had resisted that which we now maintain as synonymous with British connexion, I may and do believe, that we are right and they are wrong, that the annihilation of British connexion would, according to the natural operation of cause and effect, be the result of the continual conflicts of two independent legislatures. But are we to found on such an assumption of our own, accusations of intentional treason against those who, justly dissatisfied with, must, in the actual condition of their country, ask for the restoration of that which existed in eventful times, was established with the sanction of all parties here—there having been in. 1782 actually a struggle between the outgoing and in-coming Government, which should have the credit of establishing the independence of Ireland;—and this independent Parliament existed for sixteen years, and was destroyed by means which it is now every where admitted do not fear inquiry, and in the teeth of some of the former friends of British connexion, some of the first names of the day. I will repeat at the same time in 1844, as I stated in 1836, that my opposition to Repeal is founded on my love for Ireland herself. But we are now told that this freedom of opinion should not be carried too far; that the Government has adopted the policy set forth in the Speech from the Throne at the last prorogation of Parliament. And what is the tone of this Speech? It is a most constitutional doctrine, that for any thing stated at the conclusion of the Session, perhaps more than at the commencement, Ministers are to be held responsible, and it is more than ever desirable that they should be most careful in any statement they make on such an occasion; but they stated in the Speech from the Throne, at the conclusion of the last Session of Parliament, that Her Majesty relied on the solemn declarations of Parliament. Why Parliament had made no solemn declaration—unless it was a former Parliament. In former days—in a former reign, Parliament had made such a declaration. [Lord Wharncliffe: "Hear, hear!"] The noble Lord cheers: but does the noble Lord mean that it is according to the practice of the Constitution to allude in a Speech from the Throne to a declaration made in a former Parliament, and in a former reign? I believe it to le quite unheard of. What is the object of a dissolution of Parliament, but to appeal to the sense of the people, and how is a new House of Parliament to be held responsible for the declaration of a former Parliament? [Marks of dissent from the Ministerial side of the House.] Well, then, surely the noble Lord does not mean to say that the declaration of a former Parliament is more binding than an Act of Parliament? and I allude to what happened about the Union of Scotland. Seven years after the union of that country with England, a motion was actually made in this House for a Repeal of the Union, and was lost only by a majority of three; the number of Peers present being equal, and the majority consisting of three proxies, and, also, within seven years of the passing of that Act of Parliament, the Duke of Argyle, with a deputation of Scotch Members, waited on Her Majesty, Queen Anne, and declared to her personally, that if their discontents were suffered to continue, they might be raised to such a pitch as to prompt them to declare the Union dissolved. That was in times renowned as good constitutional times, and it shows that the noble Lords opposite are a little incorrect in taking the declaration of a former Parliament as binding on them. Lord Sunderland on that occasion declared, that he was one of the persons who took part in carrying the Act of Union, but if it did not answer its purpose he would be quite ready to vote for its repeal. But if the noble Lords opposite attach so much importance to a declaration of Parliament, why did not they get it?—there could be no difficulty—but if they had obtained such a declaration, there must have been attached to it a similar declaration to that which had accompanied the Address in 1844, that they would attend to the complaints of the people and redress their grievances, and if they had done so they would have been told, that "while in opposition you thwarted the efforts of those who wished to redress the grievances of the people, and since you have been in power you have taken no step at all to do justice to Ireland." But there is another point of that Speech to which I must refer; I mean that part of the Speech in which Her Majesty is made to allude to the persevering attempts to excite discontent. There may have been such attempts; but those who advised that Speech should recollect that there were two ways of making persevering attempts to excite discontent—by a denial of that which was just, as well as by agitation for that which was impracticable. Let your Lordships carry back your recollection, and see if there were no phrases used, if there were no measures refused which render them answerable for much of the discontent which exist. What was said by my noble and learned Friend on the Woolsack? All who know that noble Lord in private, are well aware that there can be nothing more foreign to his nature than any persevering attempt to excite and animosity. But public men must be judged by their public words, and he did make use of a phrase in that House calculated to excite discontent far and near, and if parties are condemned for using the word "Saxon" with the purpose of exciting discontent with the powers which govern Ireland—and a most improper attempt it is—and draw comparisons between the origin of the Irish people and the people of this country, or of the religion of the Irish people and that of England, let it at least be remembered that for doing so they have a very high precedent. [The Lord Chancellor: That was two Parliaments ago.] If that is the best defence that can be made for it—the noble and learned Lord says it is two Parliaments back—it is bad indeed. [Laughter.] But I must say this is too serious a subject on which to jest. It was by those unfortunate words that impressions were made which have outlived those two Parliaments, and it may take many more Parliaments before their impression will pass away. I know that far and wide, in the autumn of 1836, in every part of Ireland, the feelings that were so widely prevalent, were greatly exasperated by the insult of that taunt. In those days there was another phrase used, not by any noble Lord actually in power now, but countenanced by many of the supporters of the present Government. It applied to the other House of Parliament, and was made at a public meeting. They were told that the Government was supported only by an Irish majority. I say, that any man who used that phrase, if he was an honest man, must have been in his heart a Repealer. To draw that distinction between Members coming from one part of the country or another, is striking a vital blow at the principle of Legislative Union. If it is the intention to draw such a distinction, it is at once departing from the principles of the Union, and is as much as saying that Ireland is not a part of the United Kingdom, but is a province. Am I singular in this opinion, not as applied, perhaps, directly to these words, but that the principles of the Legislative Union are, that perfect equality shall be maintained? That is an opinion, not only delivered by me, but by much weightier authority—delivered in Ireland from the bench of justice, in 1833, by a learned person who is now no more, Mr. Baron Smith, the father of the present Attorney-general of Ireland—of whom I will say a word presently. That learned Judge, in his charge to the Grand Jury, said:— As long as England conforms to the true principles of the Union, I shall wish the strict and blending connection which is established to subsist. But one of those principles, and a main one, is this, that Ireland, which before the Union, was an independent, though connected country, should by the Union, not have lost, but incorporated its independence, and become of the British empire—not a province, but a part. We owe what we call allegiance to the Union, but not to any connection substantially different from what the Articles of the Union have subscribed. It is our charter for which we have paid a weighty price, which it is our right and duty loyally to defend, and which but with our lives we ought to surrender. If we were violated (but it never will be), an Irishman's duty might become very different from what it is. That was the opinion of Mr. Baron Smith, not before one of those popular assemblages, where since, others of his family had distinguished themselves; but it was delivered from the judgment-seat, and therefore bore with it all the weight of his judicial character. But the attempt of noble Lords opposite is one which has never succeeded, and never will, and that is under free institutions, to attempt to govern by a minority. That is the whole question at issue, and that, I say, is attempted in Ireland. Have they ever attempted it any where else? What is their conduct in Canada? Is it not felt there that the only way to secure the affections of the people is to govern by the majority, and not by the minority. Look at the despatches and instructions of the last two Governors, and compare the state of Canada now to that of Ireland. I wish to allude to one point before I conclude, and I may as well introduce it here. It has again and again been said, that the whole of the influence which was obtained in Ireland during the administration of my noble Friend behind me and myself, was owing to our distribution of patronage, and that this patronage was placed entirely at the disposal of Mr. O'Connell. Referring for a moment to Canada, it had been found necessary to give the patronage to those who were represented by a majority in the Canadian Legislature. But I will only now take an opportunity of referring to what I stated myself on this subject, on the motion of the noble Earl opposite, at the end of the year 1837:— It has been stated by persons who must know better, that Mr. O'Connell has all the patronage of the Government in Ireland. I utterly and indignantly deny the truth of that statement. Mr. O'Connell, like any other Member of Parliament requiring information from the Government, has, I admit, had several communications with it; but I can confidently state, that the applications of Mr. O'Connell have been fewer than those of any other Member of Parliament. Neither has Mr. O'Connell been consulted more than any other Member of Parliament in any one appointment made by the Irish Government. Mr. O'Connell holds no Government patronage in Ireland, nor does he exercise any of the patronage that belongs to the Government. Mr. O'Connell does not bind nor control me in the exercise of my judgment, or in the distribution of my patronage. I bow to no man. But whilst I bow to no man, like Lord Chesterfield, I will "proscribe" no man. The taunt against me is, that I have treated Mr. O'Connell in the same way as I would treat any other Member of Parliament. So I have, my Lords, and so I will always continue to do. But I fearlessly and utterly deny that the Government has been controlled by Mr. O'Connell, or has consulted with Mr. O'Connell as to any of the appointments that have been made; and as to the charge of the Government having the steady support of Mr. O'Connell, I honestly confess that that is a circumstance, considering how much he carries with him the hearts and affections of the Irish people, that I can regard only as a great advantage, and as one that ought not to be made a matter of reproach. But that Mr. O'Connell influences me—that he actuates me in the discharge of my duties, or that I am governed or actuated by any other than my own sense of right, I utterly and totally deny in the face of your Lordships, and of the noble Lord by whom the charge was brought forward. That was my statement in the year 1837, when it was easy, if there had been any inaccuracy, to correct it. I repeated it in the discussion which took place in the year 1839, and now that I have been out of all official connection with Ireland for four years, I will appeal to my successors whether all the appointments made in the Church, the Law, and the Police—of course there might be individual exceptions—but I will ask whether the selection of the persons appointed was not made with reference to their efficiency to fulfil the duties they had to perform? I think it right to say thus much, as there is so much ignorance prevailing on the subject. I have always felt that a great deal of difficulty has arisen in governing Ireland in consequence of the way in which the Catholic Question was carried, the persons by whom it was carried, and the time at which it was carried, which was thirty years later than it, ought to have been. It is unfortunate that it should have been carried by the persons by whom it was carried, for from their solemn and repeated declarations previously there is too much reason to apprehend, that they acted entirely at variance with their real opinion. With respect to the mode in which it was carried, it was coupled with many provisions which were useless in themselves, aggravating to the people, and diminishing the gratitude which would otherwise spontaneously have flowed; and I can only account for the difficulties which have arisen by these unfortunate circumstances. But that question having been carried, I think it is unnecessary to trace the course of the different Governments down to the present time with reference to the state of discontent which now exists. I can not be very accurate as to former years, for I was engaged myself in distant parts of the world, and therefore have lost personal cognizance of the events; I can not, however, pass over that period in the presence of my noble Friend behind me (the Marquess of Anglesea) without reminding your Lordships of the devoted zeal of my noble Friend in the cause of Ireland, during that period, of his love for the people, which carried him through all the difficulties which surrounded him, thwarted as he was by those whom he might have looked to for support; while, at the same time, his honest and zealous intentions were but too often misconstrued by those he so much loved, and so ardently desired to serve. But, passing over that period, I come to those of my noble Friends, who succeeded. And first, I will say, that one of the great objects of my administration, and that of my noble Friends was the impartial administration of justice, so as to give confidence to the great body of the people in that administration. Sir John Davies has said, that the people of Ireland were remarkable for their desire for impartial justice, and if that devoted fondness for justice still continues to this time, that I fear must in some degree be attributed to its being to them so rare a luxury. For this statement I have authority of every kind, and among others, of no less a person than Lord Redesdale, late Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who once stated on the judgment-seat that there was in that country one law for the rich, and another for the poor, and both equally ill administered. This declaration was most creditable to that noble and learned Lord, representing in that country as he did a party who were imbued with many Eng- lish prejudices on that subject. Then, with reference to the purity of the administration of justice, and the confidence of the people in its impartiality, the greatest blow which it has received is the proceeding of the Government in the dismissal of the magistrates last year, for attending Repeal meetings. It is impossible to conceive anything more extraordinary than the manner in which it was done. It is stated, that it was done in consequence of a declaration made by Ministers in that House, and in the other House of Parliament. Why, the first thing that struck me about this statement was its evident insincerity. Is it possible to suppose that the Lord Chancellor of Ireland did not know what the feeling of the Government was on the subject of Repeal? The speeches of the Ministers in Parliament could have conveyed no new information to the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. But then, it may be said, they were not necessary for him, but that they were necessary for the magistrates. Why, upon one occasion, when the present Lord-lieutenant of Ireland was attacked in that House, for something which was said to have occurred in Ireland, he replied that he never read the newspapers. If the Lord-lieutenant did not read the newspapers, why should not the magistrates have the same excuse? But, on constitutional grounds, this was a most unreasonable step to have been taken. Ministers have made many declarations with reference to Reform in Parliament, to the Catholic Question, to the Corn-law, and on other subjects, but these declarations have not always been carried out, for sometimes the person who made them has been the man to propose a very different course. Is the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, then, to be the judge of the sincerity or the steadiness of the declarations of his Colleagues in Parliament, and to act upon the result of such uncertain speculations? But, to pass by this part of the subject, I will say that the dismissal of the magistrates was utterly an inefficient step. If any notice was to have been taken of the Repeal agitation, a graver, a more efficient, a more deliberate step ought to have been taken. The magistrates, if they attended those meetings at all, were likely, as long as they were intrusted with the commission of the peace, rather to see that order was maintained, and so he believed, in many cases, they had done. Fifty-one magistrates were dismissed in different counties, hardly any of whom had before been known much of as Repealers; but every one of them was irritated by this dismissal, and came more ostentatiously forward. No magistrate had been made less of a Repealer, but many an ex-magistrate had become more of an agitator. But another measure which was taken by me, and followed up by my noble Friend, which I am convinced gave the greatest confidence to the people in the administration of justice, was the selection of stipendiary magistrates; on this I shall have much to say of appointments made, and reductions commenced, but I will postpone it till another opportunity. In another respect, the present Government has been most particularly unfortunate. As to the appointments made by them to the Bench, I will not allude to the manner in which those learned persons now administer their functions; I am only alluding to the fact that those appointments have destroyed the confidence of the Irish people in the administration of justice. As to Mr. Baron Lefroy is it not well known that soon after the measure of Catholic Emancipation was passed, he was not allowed, then being second sergeant, to go the circuit in the place of one of the judges who was ill, which would have been the usual custom? And this, in consequence of a declaration he made, qualifying his allegiance in consequence of the passing of that Act. There is another act of the late Administration which gave confidence to the Irish people—it was the sincere and honest spirit of the Educational System introduced by that Government. Yet Sergeant Jackson, who had vehemently opposed that system in the House of Commons, has been raised to a judgeship. But all these appointments, had as they are, sink into utter insignificance compared with the appointment of Mr. Smith, to the Attorney-generalship of Ireland. At a meeting in January, 1837, attended by persons all of one party, and with the reporters all of one party, Mr. Smith was reported in the Evening Mail, a paper of his own politics, to have said of the Roman Catholics, and it has never been denied by him, "I am sorry to say circumstances have occurred to induce us to believe that they have very little regard for the sanctity of an oath, or little hesitation to violate their compact." Such an observation, the emanation of unscrupulous faction, might have its short-lived triumph, but it ought also to entail lasting disqualification. No situation under Government could properly have been conferred on such a man; but of all situations under Government that the noble Lords opposite should have appointed to the office of Attorney-general a person who had made that declaration, that he would not believe upon oath, seven-eighths of his countrymen, is most astonishing! Either he believed this or he did not; but if he made the statement in a moment of excitement it showed his deficiency of judgment and discretion, and of every characteristic which the noble Lords opposite ought to have sought for in a person they placed in that important office. But supposing he did believe it, then he said that that unhappy man who could form such an opinion of seven-eighths of his countrymen and a majority of the Christian world, was a person wholly unfit for any great public employment. Whatever qualifications he might have had I care not, what his usual discretion might have been, or what valuable assistance he might have given to the Government in Parliament; but this I will declare, that if Government honestly intended to act upon the principles of impartiality which the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel) has professed in his place in Parliament, and which has been solemnly repeated by the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland, this ought not to have been done. Had I been that noble Lord, I would rather have cut off my right hand than have signed the appointment of Mr. Smith to the office of Attorney-genera] for Ireland ["Hear, hear,"and some sensation]. It is not my intention to attack Mr. Smith; I attack the Government through him [Loud cries of "Hear, hear"]. I say it is an appointment which the Government ought not to have made: and I will not allude to a more recent instance of Mr. Smith's conduct more than by saying, that it was a bad thing for the Government to have in the situation of Attorney-general a person whom it is utterly impossible they could ever elevate to the Bench. That has been the usual course of promotion of persons who discharge their duty faithfully and discreetly, and I will venture to say, there is not a man in the present or any other Government who would appoint Mr. Smith to the office of an Irish judge. Now, with respect to this prosecution, which has been so judiciously intrusted to Mr. Attorney-general Smith, the parties were charged with a conspiracy. I will repeat what I have stated at the commencement, that it was the duty of the Government, if they had evidence of sedition, of seditious meetings, and seditious libels, to have prosecuted directly for those, and not to have introduced this new system—this monster indictment, with all its accumulation of different charges, the effect of which has been to excite in a large portion of the English public, who had formerly looked with comparative indifference on Irish subjects, a feeling of unfairness with respect to these prosecutions. As to the use that may hereafter be made of this for other purposes I will not say a word; but this I will say, that the noble Lords opposite who attended the Hillsborough meeting in 1834 may think themselves fortunate to have escaped many of the charges which have been laid before the jury on the present occasion. But whether it was right to prosecute for a conspiracy or not, can there be two opinions that these proceedings were least calculated to obtain the sanction of public opinion, which is ever so desirable in such cases? In the first place as to the formation of the jury, one most extraordinary circumstance, and one, I believe, unheard of before, is the loss of a certain portion of the panel. Oh, but that was an accident. I do not mean to deny that; it may have been an accident; but certainly it was an unfortunate accident; for, whereas the proportion of Catholics to the rest of the panel was as one to four, in the slip of paper that was lost the proportion was as five to four. But what became of this slip of paper? Where has it been? I remember to have heard the noble and learned Lord sitting near the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack (Lord Brougham), in a speech in another place and now twenty years ago, with respect to the administration of justice in Ireland, and in which the choice of judges and jurors was handled in a way that I can never forget,—I remember that noble and learned Lord to have related a story of which I will now remind your Lordships. It was in reference to a Mr. Mac Namara, who stated that he had been asked to undertake for his client to bribe the tinder-sheriff to tamper with the panel. He was asked whether he had given the money, and be replied that he had not. "Why did you not do so?" "Because he did not do what I asked." "What, was he indignant?" "Oh no, he said the panel was gone up to the Castle!" I never heard of the panel going up to the Castle before; but perhaps of late, since we have had a return of the "good old times," some of these customs may have been revived! With reference to the omission of Catho- lics, the first thing that strikes me upon this is the ignorance exhibited by the law officers of the Crown as to the political sentiments of the Catholics on the jury panel. It was only a few days ago that the Solicitor-general alluded to the fact that all these people were members of the Repeal Association. But I believe it has turned out that the fact was not so, and that they were not members of the Repeal Association. I know one of them, at least by character, who is stated to be a most respectable person. If he were a repealer he would have said so: but he declared that he was not. Upon this I will say, that it should have the first object of the Government, in endeavouring to procure a conviction, to take care that it was one by an impartial jury. Did they expect that, by omitting all Catholics, they would have an impartial jury. [Lord Wharncliffe: Yes.] Well, then, I will only say—[Lord Wharncliffe: I meant repealers.] But was there no question between Catholics and Protestants? [The Lord Chancellor and Lord Wharncliffe: "None,"] What! was there no question between Catholics and Protestants in the city of Dublin! ["None."] Was there not a distinct appeal made to the Protestants to come forward to register and secure a jury? [Lord Wharncliffe: "Who appealed?"] I will read the appeal which was addressed to the Protestants by the Evening Mail. Every thing in Ireland at this moment resolves itself into a question of religion, and not of politics. The agitation is religious—the Repeal is religious—the whole organization of the country is religious; and the struggle, whenever it comes—as come it will most assuredly—will be a war of religion, and not of politics. When such an appeal as that was made, when committees and agents were appointed to secure a Protestant jury, I do say that it was unworthy of the Government to act the part of a private prosecutor, who endeavours to get a panel in favour of one particular view, and whose greatest objection is to an impartial jury. I have some authority for my view in what occurred very nearly at the time when my noble and learned Friend sitting on the side of the Woolsack (Lord Brougham) made his motion. There was an inquiry into the conduct of the sheriff of Dublin, in a case in which strong party feelings prevailed. The Lord-lieutenant had been very much insulted; and the question was, "What jury should be summoned?" Mr. Plunket being examined upon the subject in the House of Commons, and in answer to the question, "What panel would you wish?" said, I should wish, if possible, a panel of unprejudiced men, and if that is not to be obtained, I should wish a panel composed of persons of all opinions, and not confined to persons of one description only. On a question of this sort, then, on which the Irish people are immensely excited, the Government should have taken every step for procuring a verdict that would have carried public opinion with it. That is the course which a public prosecutor ought to pursue. One word as to the conduct of this case, and particularly with respect to what has been said by my learned Friend, a gentleman with whom I have always lived in habits of great intimacy, the present Solicitor-general for Ireland. I think it an unfortunate slip, and one that was likely to prejudice the case, when the learned Solicitor-general told the jury that the verdict might affect the law, and that if they did not return a certain verdict upon the evidence which was before them, ulterior proceedings might be taken in another place, and measures be brought forward by the Government in which they would have deep concern. In short, he threatened a Coercion Bill. Whilst noble Lords are told in the Speech from the Throne to abstain from remarks upon Irish questions, lest they may prejudice the jury—how are the intentions of this impartial Government carried into effect by the Government officers? Why, the Solicitor-general, in a speech to the jury, threatens them with consequences in which they, as Irishmen, are concerned as well as others. He threatens them with consequences to them, and their country, on account of the discharge of what is their duty towards both the prosecutor and the traversers. He told them that— It was the duty of Government to call on Parliament to give them additional power to put down the agitation. There was no necessity for such a step, for Sir Robert Peel expressed his determination to try the ordinary power to assist him; nor will he, unless their verdict shall have proved the existing law to be insufficient for that purpose. No doubt it was unintentional, and the next day he retracted it. [The Lord Chancellor: "He said he did not mean it."] No, he said "retract." It was all very well to say that he retracted it, or that he did not mean it; but the threat had gone forth and what good was it for him to tell the jury the next day that he did not mean what he had said? I am perfectly aware of the delicacy, in this place, of saving anything as to the conduct of a judge in the discharge of his duty. I am not competent, indeed, to say anything of the law that has been laid down; but as to the tone of that charge, I must really tell your Lordships what, has happened to myself, and then leave the statement to make its own impression. It will be recollected that the last part of the Solicitor-general's speech and the summing-up of the Chief Justice came together: I took up the charge of the Chief Justice, and I actually thought that I was reading the Solicitor-general's speech, not the summing-up, and my reflection was, what a spirited reply it was. I allude to speeches made by a Barrister an eminent man (Mr. Burrowes) twenty years ago, and the Chief Justice quoted this, an Advocate's Address for his client, as authority on constitutional law, he so put the question to the jury, that he mixed up the opinion of Burrowes and of Baron Alderson, that it was impossible to say which was which. A noble Friend of mine (Lord Fortescue) did call the attention of their Lordships last year to another charge of Chief Justice Pennefather, who, in charging the jury on a libel case, ended by saying, "It is a most diabolical libel—it is a most gross and infamous libel;" and I do not think that that was mincing the matter. I should like to put it to any noble Friend who has ever sat in any court of criminal jurisdiction in this country, whether this was the tone and manner in which any English jury should be addressed by a judge? There are many subjects which I should have liked upon the present occasion to have alluded to, and among them are the appointments made by the Government; but I think it better to postpone my remarks till another opportunity. There are many things, also, in the communication of the Lord Chancellor with the magistracy, which, if your Lordships would grant the inquiry, I would bring forward; but with respect to which, if this inquiry be refused, I shall move for papers, and on a future occasion address your Lordships. But there is one thing to which I cannot help alluding; it is to an appointment made by the Lord-lieutenant of Ireland about the time when these proceedings were drawing to a close, when a verdict was about to be given which intimated the illegality of making physical demonstrations of numbers for the purpose of overawing the Legislature and the Government. The right hon. Baronet, at the head of the Government, has in the other House read a letter addressed to the Lord-lieutenant, giving him advice as to the way in which he should bestow his clerical patronage, and recommending him to attend to the merits of the party to be appointed to the office. The right hon. Gentleman has also on a former occasion—and I owe him gratitude for it—stated that all the ecclesiastical and clerical appointments made by me were excellent, and I think I may appeal to all noble Lords, however much they may differ from me in politics, to confirm that statement. If, then, the right hon. Gentleman at the head of Her Majesty's Government approve of my appointments, how does he justify the appointment to which I have alluded—the elevation of the Rev. Holt Waring to the deanery of Dromore? I will read to your Lordships a statement, taken from a paper of the same political sentiments as the noble Lords opposite, of the arrival of a deputation, headed by this Rev. Holt Waring, at the meeting at Hillsborough in 1834:— At an early hour of the morning (some of them, indeed, over night) the great landed proprietors of the county repaired to the different points on their respective estates at which it had been previously agreed they should meet their tenants, and march at their head to the general place of assemblage, so that the area in front of the hustings did not present a very crowded appearance, until the arrival of the men in large masses, each having a pride of marching border fashion, shoulder by shoulder, beside his neighbour and brother, with whom he was ready to sacrifice life in defence of his country and religion. Shortly after eleven o'clock, a tremendous shout from the town announced the approach of the first party. They were from Moira, and were headed by the Rev. Bolt Waring, who was drawn by the people. A flag, the union jack, was hoisted at Mr. E. Rielly's, as the signal of their arrival. In a few moments they were seen descending the steep hill from the town, and approaching the place of meeting in a close, dark, and dense mass, comprising certainly not less than 20,000 persons. [Lord Wharncliffe: It was very like a parish priest.] That is the strangest defence I ever heard! In his zeal to defend his noble Friend the Lord-lieutenant in one of his extremely judicious appointments, the noble Lord says, that this conduct "was extremely like a parish priest." [Lord Wharncliffe: Yes; go on.] Here followed the remainder of the paragraph as given in most of the papers of the day. I have not a copy by me, but the extract ended with "deployed to the station assigned to him." If this was not a military array by the Church Militant, I can not tell what is, and if the Rev. Holt Waring were not prosecuted, he owed it to the good fortune that his friends were not in office. All those who were in office at that time, would recollect the impression of the Lord Lieutenant, at those proceedings, and that he deemed them most serious; but he had not an Attorney-general Smith to prosecute. By the Government which was now in office, the noble Earl opposite would not possibly have been left unprosecuted; and I must acknowledge that it was rather fortunate for himself and his compeers, that my noble Friend near me, was in office rather than the noble Earl's own friends, or they might have heard more of the 20,000 who arrived with the Rev. Dean, who escorted him to the front of the platform, and deployed around, filed off, and took the position assigned to them. Now, with reference to the declared intentions of the Government, and the expectations which have been held out to the Irish people. The noble Lord, who has had a difficult card to play—the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland—at his election in 1841, declared somewhat more explicitly what had before been said in effect by other Members of the Government. Lord Eliot on his reelection at Bodmin, on the 22d day of Sepber, 1841, speaking with reference to Ireland, said, "He knew that the policy of Sir It. Peel would be a sound and a wise policy—a policy of peace and conciliation. He would legislate for it in a generous as well as a just spirit." This was the promise held out in 1841. The people of Ireland look to promises made to them: they are willing to believe the best of every thing. But what have they done between 1841 and 1844? What is the proof of the generous as well as the just spirit which has animated their legislation. The only legislation, from that to the present time of any importance, has been the Arms Bill, and in reference to that Arms Bill, I think that what has occurred has justified some of the apprehensions which Members had entertained. It was stated, that at one petty Sessions, the magistrates, but for the presence of Mr. Gore Jones—a much abused stipendiary magis- trate, of whom they had heard much formerly, and whom I have had often to defend from unjust attacks made upon him for the zealous discharge of his duty—would have done the very thing which the Government which has brought in the Bill told them the legislature had never intended. These magistrates were thereupon told, that what they had done was in accordance with the intention of the Government, and they corrected the error next Session. The noble Lord, the Secretary for Ireland wrote a letter—and a very proper letter I think it—to the magistrates; and although they used to hear that I my noble Friend (Earl Fortescue) and myself would not go on well, because we had not the confidence of the local authorities, yet I will venture to say, that neither ever received such a rebuff as the present Government has had administered by Lord De Vesci, and the magistracy of the Queen's County. They plainly told the Government, that the letter of the noble Secretary was an unreasonable interference with them. The mode in which that letter has been penned, showed that it is not very easy to rule when the acts of the Government are not just in accordance with magisterial views. I shall be expected, in consequence of my notice of motion, calling upon your Lordships to examine the causes of the present discontent, to say a few words on the topics opened in the petition this evening presented by my noble Friend behind me (Earl Fortescue), and in the declaration of many most respectable Protestant and Catholic gentlemen connected with Ireland. Certainly, with reference to one question raised in them, I cannot touch upon Irish questions without stating distinctly, fairly, and candidly, in my place in this House, that the present state of the Irish Church should be the subject of further inquiry, and that whilst we hold it as a first principle, that that Church should be adequate to all the wants of the Protestants of Ireland, and due security should be taken that it should be so adequate; that the whole of that question, with that reservation, ought, in my opinion, to be open to the consideration of Parliament. I will say boldly and openly, that I think it necessary, for the safety of Ireland, that the Roman Catholic religion should be put on a footing of equality with the Protestant. I will not now say how far it would be desirable to pay the Clergy of the Catholic religion, but I think that, as in every country in Europe that I know of, in which there is a mixed population of Roman Catholics and Protestants—for instance, Wirtemberg, Bavaria, and Prussia, it should be the acknowledged Church of that portion of the people who belonged to it, with of course, such restrictions and conditions as Parliament should deem advisable. This I say fairly and candidly; and it appeared also to be the intention of Mr. Pitt when he carried the Union, to abolish these restrictions; and with regard to his not effecting his intentions, we must recollect the opposition which Mr. Pitt had encountered. Both in the Irish Parliament and in the English Parliament, the greatest portion of the opposition came from the Protestants. Anything which Mr. Pitt had stated, therefore, must be taken as being most fully intended by him. Mr. Pitt, on the 31st. Jan., 1799, said:— It is not easy to say, on general principles, what system of Church Establishment in such a country would be free from difficulty and inconvenience. By many I know it will be considered that the religion professed by the majority of the people, would, at least, be entitled to an equality of privileges. Mr. Pitt gave a qualification afterwards, the reason for which did not now exist. He said,— I have heard such an argument used in this House, but those who apply it, without qualification, to the case of Ireland, forget, surely, the principles on which English interest and English connection have been established in that country, and on which its present Legislature is founded. No man could say, that in the present state of things, and whilst Ireland remains a separate kingdom, full concessions could be made to the Catholics without endangering the state and shaking the constitution of Ireland to its centre. Mr. Pitt therefore obviously, by the stress he laid upon the present state of things, and whilst Ireland remained a separated kingdom, looked to the removal of these difficulties by the measure of the Union. The opinion of Mr. Pitt on this subject was more fully given on the 21st of April, 1800, when he stated what he had intended in these terms: It may be proper to leave to Parliament an opportunity of considering what may be done for His Majesty's subjects, without seeking at present any rule to govern the Protestant establishment or to make any provision on that subject. That speech of Mr. Pitt was perfectly consistent with the article of the Union, which said, that the doctrine and discipline of the Church of Ireland should be maintained, that it should be united to the Church of England, and the two henceforth form one Church—doctrine, discipline, and government, are the words used—Establishment is now mentioned, and at the same time used this extraordinary phrase, "in like manner as the Church of Scotland, in Scotland." Now, Ireland was not originally treated in the same way as the Church of Scotland, for the religion of the majority was not made the established religion. And thence much of the mischief which has since arisen. I will request your Lordships for a moment to allow me to refer to the proceedings which took place at the time of the Scotch Union as shewing the spirit of liberality on the subject then prevailing:—"On the Union with Scotland a provision was moved, declaring that when the Presbyterian religion was to be established there, nothing in this act should be construed into allowing the Church of Scotland to be what it was then styled—the true Protestant religion." This proviso was rejected, and the Bishop of Oxford said— That in treating with persons of a different religion, and allowing them to maintain the truth of their own religion, he did not thereby weaken his own faith in his own. He added, as a fact not bearing upon that argument, that they had been often told, when Presbyterian government and presbytery were established in Scotland, that it was a most impolitic as well as wicked thing, for that the best part of the nobility and gentry of that kingdom were against the tyranny of the presbyterian government, and in favour of the episcopal. This was, therefore, a completely parallel case to that which had been alleged with reference to Ireland. But in spite of this representation the Presbyterian religion was established in Scotland at the time of the Union. I only throw this out to show, before we come to a decision on the claims of the Irish people, that there is much in the analogy between the two countries which may require your deliberate attention. With reference to what has attracted much attention, the payment of the Catholic Clergy, without declaring further, I would say that this was a most unfortunate moment to make such a proposition; that those who most desire such a result, could not take a course more likely to defeat their own wishes, than to bring the proposition forward at a moment like the present. And I am borne out in this opinion, by what was stated by Mr. Grattan at the time of the Union. He said, The Catholics had been accused pretty liberally of disloyalty by those very advocates who now seem to think it proper to remove their imputed treasons against the King, provided they shall be followed up by real treasons against the people. I do not believe, I never did believe, the general charges made against the Catholics. I do not dispute, I never did dispute, the propriety of giving salaries to the Clergy; but it should be salaries, not bribes, salaries for the exercise of their religious duty, and not wages for the practice of political apostacy. Without taking the words of Mr. Grattan as strictly applicable to the present state of the Catholic Clergy, but lamenting the part which they had taken in political matters, still I see much of sound reasoning, and much applicability of the reasoning of Mr. Grattan against the proposal of any measures for the payment of the Roman Catholic Clergy whilst the Roman Catholic Priests are in the state of excitement in which they at present are. I cannot, however, mention this body without once more giving my tribute of acknowledgment for the active assistance they have afforded to me—for that activity and zeal which have uniformly been borne witness to in that committee which has been moved by the noble Earl opposite (Lord Roden), in the prevention of outrage and in the detection of offenders. It is common to attribute much of the misfortunes and of the crimes prevalent among the peasantry of Ireland to the influence of the religion of the people, but from what I have witnessed among them I would say, that there never was a people whose faults and sufferings more obviously arose out of their relations with man, and less out of their relations with their Maker. There is no country in the world in which there are such general privations and sufferings, and among whom there is a more general and universal practice of all the social and domestic virtues—who are better husbands, better wives, better fathers, better mothers, better sons; better in short in all those relations in which it would naturally be expected that the fruit of religious instruction would be found [Cheers.] No; it is to the struggle for that subsistence which your boasted legislation has failed to procure for them, and which your free institutions have partly withheld from them, that almost all the crimes are to be traced with which you charge them. And I must say this of the Roman Catholic religion, which with all its pomp and power, is supposed sometimes to foster infidelity amongst its votaries, that I do not believe that there is any where a more wide-spread and enduring sense of religion than amongst the pious population of Roman Catholic Ireland, or more truly Christian relations than subsist between the unendowed clergy and the pauper flocks. I turn now to a question of more generalinterest—to the question of the franchise, and of the representation. It has been made rather clearer by the declaration which has been made by Ministers in the Speech from the Throne, because if it be once decided that there is to be an extension of the suffrage, it is only a question of degree. I cannot say that I have not great fear that the franchise is very different to that which I should think necessary to do justice to the people and amend the restrictions on the constituency. I own, however, that I am surprised at the declaration made from the Throne on this subject, when I recollected what had passed in the other House of Parliament, and under the administration of my noble Friend behind me. When the Government had proposed a Bill, a noble Lord introduced another; and when it was proposed that this noble Lord's Bill should be stopped till they could see its probable operation on the franchise, the proposal was scouted, there was such extreme necessity for the measure that it must be pressed at all risks. It was a startling, though welcome inconsistency, to be told in the Speech from the Throne, that after due attention had been paid to the subject, there would be brought forward a proposition to extend the franchise to such an extent as the operation of the Registration Bill should render desirable. With respect to this point, your Lordships are not aware of the extent of the inequality which prevails between the franchise in Ireland and in England. If you take the population of Great Britain, including Wales, in round numbers, at 18,000,000, and the population of Ireland in round numbers at 8,000,000, you will find the proportion of the population between the two countries, as 2¼ to 1; but the number of electors in England, Scotland, and Wales, is 850,000, whilst the number of electors in Ireland is 100,000; there is, therefore, a proportion of 8½ electors to 1 between the two countries, with a population of 2¼ to 1; and if you take the number of Members it will be found at 5½ to 1, with a population of 2¼ to one. Then you may be told, that you should look to the state and condition of the population in Ireland, and recollect, that to its misfortune, 2,000,000 of the population are paupers. That is an extreme estimate; but suppose that I strike off the 2,000,000 of supposed paupers, and believe that all the population of England is independent, that there are no workhouses here, no paupers, and take the Irish population at 6,000,000, the population is only 3 to 1 as compared with Great Britain, whilst the proportion of electors is 8½ to 1, and the proportion of the representatives 5½ to 1. I think I hear the First Lord of the Admiralty remark, that the whole question does not depend on the numbers of the population. [Lord Haddington: I said no such thing.] I thought I heard the noble Lord say so—suppose it were said, that the representation ought to be a mixed question of population and revenue, but in taking into consideration the extent to which we ought to adopt the principle of revenue, we should recollect, that one of the grounds of the Irish claim is, that they declare, that by the present system their interests are neglected, and the resources of the country are not developed; and further, that so long as Parliament sits in London—and if that is the necessary consequence of its being an United Parliament, then he hoped so it would always do—its necessary tendency is to produce absenteeism, and to reduce the proportion of revenue which would enter into their calculation. It appears by the petition entrusted to my noble Friend behind me, that a large proportion of the Irish people, who are not satisfied with the present mode of Government, but are not yet prepared to advocate Repeal, require that the number of Members for Ireland should be increased, and the franchise extended to a degree which would put the Irish people on an equality as to representation with the people of England. I have said the other night a few words which have been supposed to throw out some manner of doubt as to the appointment of the Government Commission now sitting in Ireland, of which the noble Lord opposite (the Earl of Devon) is the head. I do not now wish to revive the subject, but I should have been more satisfied had the result of what I then said, been to elicit some explanation as to the extent of the inquiry which the noble Earl is to conduct. My noble and learned Friend on the right made an observation on that occasion which I think that he (Lord Brougham) will qualify on reflection. It was, that to any interference with the relations between landlords and tenants he would object in the same way as to compel a passenger to give alms to a beggar. [Lord Brougham: Any interference to compel landlords in the use of their property.] I think that an extreme case might be made out in which the Legislature would clearly find it to be its duty to interfere. The more my noble and learned friend applies his mind to this subject the more will he feel, that there are many points worthy of serious consideration with reference to the relations between landlords and tenants. One is, that in Ireland the landlord has a monopoly of the means of existence, and has a power of enforcing his bargains, which does not exist elsewhere—the power of starvation. I do not say, that there are not a great many worthy landlords in Ireland; but it is undeniable that a great many evils exist, and I have little doubt that a case might be made out, in which the Legislature would find it necessary to correct some of these evils. I disclaim, of course, what passes under the unhappy title of fixity of tenure. That is not the sort of regulation I would propose; but I think some measure might be proposed which would be just and fair and beneficial to both parties. From some connection with Ireland, I think it possible, that the Government without instituting this commission, might have found out some of those points in which an alteration would be beneficial. In reference to this point, I think that people in England are not aware of the different position in which a tenant in Ireland stands from a tenant in England. As to the extent in which the Irish tenant is saddled with repairs, there is a profound ignorance; and again, as to the hardship of the tenant in the proportion which the rent bears to the produce, which has been recently and accurately stated in the publication of an English gentleman (Mr. Wiggens) who had for some time been an agent for estates in England and Ireland. He said, that where the produce for an Irish farm was 150l., the share of the landlord was 100l., or two-thirds; whilst in England, where the produce of the farm was 300l., the share of the landlord in the shape of rent, was 100l., or one-third. Mr. Wiggens went on to say, that the burthens on land in England were double those in Ireland. In England they would be 40l. and in Ireland 20l., therefore, the share reserved for the tenant in England out of 300l. was 160l., whilst the share of the Irish tenant was only 30l. out of 150l. I had hoped that the system of attributing the horrible crimes of the people to religious motives instead of to the depravity of the persons, was at an end, but I see, with respect to the Finnoe murder, that one gentleman is reported to have stated that it all came from employing Catholic policemen, and that it was part of their religion to persecute Protestants; but it does fortunately happen, for the vindication, if such were necessary, of the parties, that the person who has so much distinguished himself in the defence of his master, was, I am glad to say, a Catholic, though I am sorry also to say, a Repealer, which I wish he was not. Considering all these circumstances, I cannot help thinking that I have made out a good case for inquiry. I consider it necessary because of a circumstance which has come under my own knowledge. Some years ago, when I was in Lombardy, there existed great and general discontent. In the year 1830, the disaffection was not confined merely to those who indulged in the patriotic hopes of national independence; the administrative dissatisfaction was also universal: since then the creation, or rather the revival of local councils under popular control for the apportionment of local burthens, in the thriving municipalities of Austrian Italy, had entirely removed from those who still longed for national independence, much of the substantial grievances which gained them active sympathy amongst the mass of the people. It had been predicted of those institutions in Ireland, that they would become normal schools for political agitation; that prophecy has not been fulfilled, and these municipal tribunals, imperfect as they are, have tended very much to the tranquillization of the people. Although I have troubled your Lordships at much length, I cannot avoid, before I sit down, calling your attention to one important circumstance—I refer to the almost utter ignorance prevailing in England on the subject of Ireland. It is undeniable that 8,000,000 of people are governed by a nation which troubles itself little about their real condition. The population returns, as regard Ireland, present a curious fact: the return was completed on a day in June, and it appeared from them that out of the 8,000,000 only 30,000 had been born in England, and half of these were the children of Irish parents while they were resident in this country. It is unfortunate for Ireland that so little knowledge of her character and interests prevails among Englishmen. As to the Government, I believe that none has ever existed which possessed so little actual and local knowledge of any part of Ireland. The noble Duke (the Duke of Wellington) was indeed born in Ireland, and she may well be proud of him, but the exception in his case is more apparent than real, for throughout his brilliant and glorious career, although no man could wish that he should have been anywhere but in the scenes of his triumphs, he has certainly spent the greater part of his life at a distance from his native country. No other Member of the Administration can be said to have any local connection with Ireland.

The Lord Chancellor

There are two who have filled the office of Secretary for Ireland.

The Marquess of Normanby

I do not dispute the fact, but Sir Robert Peel has been Secretary under circumstances very different from the present: he has been Secretary for Ireland at a time when the toast of "the Glorious and Immortal Memory" was wont to be given from the Secretary's table. His knowledge, therefore, does not apply to the present time, or to the present state of feeling and opinion.

The Lord Chancellor

Lord Stanley was also Secretary for Ireland.

The Marquess of Normanby

I am unwilling, for many reasons, to advert to the Irish Administration of my noble Friend Lord Stanley. Excepting the noble Duke, there is not a native of Ireland a Member of the Administration. I see among the Ministers several Scotchmen—one, two, three, or perhaps three and a half, for the noble Lord the President of the Council is in part claimed by Yorkshire, but not a single Irishman, excepting the noble Duke. The loss sustained in the death of my noble Friend, Lord Fitzgerald, may be said to have been felt with double severity. Whatever may have been the faults of his early Irish education, sure I am that my late noble Friend's views regarding his native country were always governed by the strictest sense of justice and propriety. It is no wonder, then, that such ignorance of Ireland prevails in England, when among the Ministers themselves there is not one who possesses any personal knowledge; but it would be a great mistake to suppose that the rest of the world look on with indifference; for out of England the affairs of Ireland excite the strongest interest. The power of public opinion is a new feature in the present age; it is, as it were, the creation of peace and civilization, it has now grown to the full strength of manhood, fostered by the diffusion of knowledge, and the interchange of opinions. Public opinion in all the countries of Europe is applied to every great transaction of the world, and this I can say, that strongly as I have at some times spoken, from my keen interest, of the wishes and grievances of Ireland, and much as I have often felt that I have exceeded the sympathies of those I address here, I have never talked with a foreigner, let his political sentiments be what they might, who was well read in the history of Governments, who did not give it as his decided opinion that the prime source of the agitation of Ireland was its misgovernment by England. If this opinion be general, and I have every reason to believe that it is, I must confess that I think in my conscience that it is just; but I trust the time will soon arrive,—and I believe that the mis-government, which all lament, arises out of neglect and ignorance of the real wishes and interests of the people—the time will soon arrive, when even those who are most opposed to the concession of equal rights will feel that they can no longer resist the power of public opinion, and surely it is far better to yield with a good grace than to maintain a resistance as irritating as it is ineffectual. If your Lordships are prepared to go on with the attempt to govern Ireland by a minority: if you are resolved to persevere in what never has succeeded in any country, in any age, or under any form of Government: if you are satisfied to rest the impartial administration of justice, upon the exclusion from all connection with it of those who profess the faith of seven-eighths of the population: if you are satisfied to continue to exhibit to the eyes of Europe the spectacle of a free country ruled by military occupation: if you are content to assert that the sword is the fittest instrument with which to attach Irish affections to the benefit of British institutions; if their religion taught them, even in a vain abuse of its holy name, to maintain a system of doing unto others what you would not have others do unto you, you will reject the present motion for inquiry, and refuse to affirm the Resolution I have laid upon the Table. But if, on the other hand, your Lordships are disposed to make a declaration, however tardy, in favour of the fitness of conferring equal rights—even yet there may be time for success; it is true delay may now be, as it has often been before, the one ingredient to mar the otherwise certain avowal of conciliation; but if your Lordships will now join in such a welcome declaration, and thus avow the strong opinion of one branch of the Legislature, the loyalty of the Irish people is yet unshaken, their hopes are buoyant as their patience has been of long endurance. I am confident that the pacifying and tranquillising effects of such a welcome change will be as instantaneous as they would be general; and then, and not till then, will you be able to offer to the Sovereign of these United Realms that security for Her Throne and for the greatness and stability of Her Empire which is to be derived from the affections of a happy and powerful, because an united people. His Lordship concluded by reading his Motion;— That this House having, in answer to Her Majesty's most Gracious Speech, assured Her Majesty that they entered into Her Majesty's feelings in forbearing from Observation on Events in Ireland in respect to which, Proceedings are pending before the proper legal Tribunal, feel it, in consequence, to be their Duty to take the earliest Opportunity, when no Prejudice can arise there from in the Minds of the Jury, to record their Intention to examine into the Causes of the Discontents now unhappily too prevalent in that country. And also, that, with a view to the Removal of existing Evils, and the Restoration of Confidence, this House look to the Development of the only True Principles of a perfect Union, by securing to Her Majesty's Subjects, of all Classes and Persuasions, in all Parts of the United Kingdom, the practical Enjoyment of equal Rights.

Lord Wharncliffe

said: When my noble Friend laid his Resolution on the Table of the House, I confess I could not understand what was the object he proposed to accomplish. It appeared to me that there was no part of it to which I could not give my assent. True, in another place, a noble Lord, when giving notice of a similar motion, is reported to have said, that if he should succeed in persuad- ing the House to go into committee he should then move certain resolutions which would be highly inculpatory of Her Majesty's Government, and would charge them with grave and manifold offences. But, my Lords, there is not one word in either the Resolution of my noble Friend, or in that of the noble Lord in another place, to lead me, or one of your Lordships, to form any idea that such was the intended course. However, my Lords, the speech of my noble Friend has made all clear; he has made several distinct charges against the Government, and I am here ready to meet him and to thank him for the opportunity which he has given me of making an explanation to your Lordships. The charge made against us is, first, in respect of the agitation, which he says we allowed to go on for the purpose of entrapping the offenders; and, secondly, he charges us with malpractices in our conduct in attempting to obtain a conviction of those persons who were at the head of the conspiracy which existed in Ireland. My noble Friend said, in the first place, that we took the wrong course in the beginning—that there were two courses open to us—first, to allow those meetings to be held—to allow them to proceed; in fact, to allow them to wear themselves out. There might, he said, be persons who would have blamed such a course, but he was not one of them. He further said, we adopted that course in the beginning, but we abandoned it, but without reason, and adopted a course which put us in the wrong. The other, he said, was to have put down the meetings, and bring the persons engaged in them to the bar of justice. Now, I tell my noble Friend, that he is wrong in both assumptions. We never thought the meetings would wear themselves out—we saw as clearly as any body possibly could that they never would wear themselves out. We thought, and still think, bringing together great bodies of people on purpose to intimidate and force the Legislature to pursue any particular course was illegal. We were prepared to say so at all times; but what was the position in which we were placed. It would not do for us to interfere and say these meetings are illegal. No; we were compelled to prove the fact. It was not the mere assembling of numbers of people, who were most carefully kept from committing any breach of the peace—they meeting for a legal purpose—that was not what we had to look at—it was more our business to take care that those meetings, though held for a purpose legal in itself, did not become illegal by their being held in furtherance of a conspiracy to be carried on by illegal means, for the purpose of attaining an object which in itself was legal. Although the object be legal, no man has a right to attempt to carry that object by means which are obviously illegal, and it was on these grounds we acted. We perfectly knew the danger and inconvenience which the meetings necessarily gave rise to. We knew very well we should be attacked for our policy, and we were attacked on all sides, by friends as well as foes, and hard it was to bear the peltings we received from our friends; still we knew we were acting right, and made up our minds to bear all the obloquy which was cast upon us; knowing we were acting cautiously, though surely, we were content to be called the do-nothing Ministry by our friends, and bear all the taunts of those who were opposed to us. It was our business, before we did anything against those persons who were carrying on those proceedings, to get evidence which we could produce in a court of law, to show that their proceedings were illegal; and I will tell my noble Friend that universal England will not only say that the meetings were illegal, but that our course was right. I tell him that universal England viewed those proceedings as a tissue of illegal proceedings, carried on for the purpose of carrying out a mea- sure which in itself was legal, if carried out without intimidation. We saw those meetings go on, and we knew that seditious speeches were made at them, we knew that most improper proceedings took place; still we allowed them to go on. They grew worse and worse. My noble Friend shakes his head as if to say no, but say they did become worse and worse; and let my noble Friend allow me to ask him how long before our interference was it that the chief person who conducted those meetings had the hardihood to tell the people of Ireland that no persons in the world had a right to make laws for Ireland, except the House of Lords and Commons of Ireland, in conjunction with the Queen! How long before our interference was the Mullaghmast meeting held? Then said my noble Friend, respecting Clontarf, why was not that meeting allowed? the last as it was intended to be. Why my noble Friend knew not what he was talking about. That was not to be the last meeting, for at the meeting of Mullaghmast, Mr. O'Connell distinctly stated, that he had made arrangements for holding some six or seven other meetings after Clontarf. Well, we did interfere, and I will say this, that if we had allowed that meeting to be held at Clontarf, so near the capital as it would have been, we should have deserved to have been arraigned at your Lordships' Bar for our supineness. To that meeting the thousands were to be marched in military array, and the call for that emanated from the Corn Exchange Association; they were to be marched in regular rank and file, and the horsemen in troops. No doubt that awkward word was afterwards with drawn and changed into groups, and officers were called wardens; but did not everybody see through the transparency of such flimsy pretexts for getting out of a scrape? Dublin was in a state of agitation and intimidation, and then was the time we chose for putting an end to the mischief. We were in possession of evidence enough to convict those persons who had taken the prominent lead of the agitation; we had evidence of their seditious speeches; we thought the time had come when we had such a case against them as would enable us to bring them into a court of justice without endangering the rights and privileges of the Crown. Where did we interfere? Why, at a place where we were fully prepared—where we could bring to bear upon the given point a large military force—when it was clear that our hands were so strong that we could interfere with the certainty of putting a stop to the meeting without the shedding of one drop of blood,—when we could put down the agitation without the horror of sacrificing human life. Many of my noble Friends around me felt much hurt at our conduct, and joined heartily in the cry of the "do-nothing" Ministry. I entreated them to have patience, and told them that we were watchful of all that was going on, Still it was hard to bear their reproaches, but I hope they will allow me now to congratulate them, because I consider we stand upon much stronger ground than before, and that merely in consequence of the manner in which we have conducted ourselves in respect to what was going on. Then, my Lords, my noble Friend complained of the lateness of the proclamation for putting down the Clontarf meeting. Now, my Lords, there is nothing in that. The first notice we had of that meeting was on the 28th of September. At that time the law officers of the Crown in Ireland did think that the time had arrived for stopping the agitation and prosecuting the principal offenders. On the 30th they prepared the proclamation, and as soon as it was finished they sent it over to London by post. It arrived in London on Sunday, October the 1st, and at that time Lord de Grey was in England for the benefit of his health, which, unfortunately, was not good. He was sent for; and, upon his arrival, a consultation took place. As soon as possible, the various Members of the Government who were in the neighbourhood of London, assembled in London,—that was on the Tuesday,—the evidence and the opinion of the law officers of the Crown in Ireland were sent down to the law officers in this country, who also advised a proclamation; and, in consequence of that opinion, Lord De Grey left London, and arrived in Dublin on the Friday. As soon as he arrived, he summoned a Privy Council to consider the proclamation; the alterations of "groups" for "troops," and of "wardens" for "officers," had in the meantime taken place, and it required consideration. However, the Privy Council determined to issue the proclamation on the Friday, because they determined to stop the meeting and the proceedings of Mr. O'Connell and his fellow conspirators. It was very necessary to be guarded as to the words of the proclamation. Although it is true, that it was not until the middle of Saturday that the proclamation was issued, yet the moment it was issued persons were sent forth to post the proclamation throughout the city, anti people on horseback were sent thirty miles from Dublin to take care that it was generally known. We also took care that there should be a competent force ready on the spot; and I put it to the people of England whether it is not a justification to us, that in point of fact no meeting took place, and not the smallest accident occurred. Now with respect to the trial—but before I proceed to that part of the subject, allow me to say a few words as to the conduct of the Attorney-general, of whom the noble Marquess has spoken in such strong terms. With him I have no personal acquaintance whatever; until he was appointed Attorney-general I not only never saw him but I never heard of him. [A laugh.] My noble Friend smiles. I know nothing of the Irish bar; but this I must say, that when he was appointed Attorney-general I heard from all quarters the greatest praise of him. I heard it said by persons opposed to us in politics, "you have appointed the fittest man for Attorney-general;" and although the Irish Attorney-general had been assailed with all sorts of attacks, to-night was the first time he had ever been told of the passage in the speech which the noble Marquess had quoted. With respect to these previous proceedings, my noble Friend seems to think that we gave these people no warning—that we proceeded without any warning whatever. I must say that I think they had complete warning. I do not speak merely of the declarations in Parliament to which the noble Marquess has alluded—I do not speak merely of Her Majesty's Speech at the end of the Session—but I say, that the dismissal of the magistrates was a warning, and ought to have been a warning. It is said, however, that the Lord Chancellor for Ireland did not put the dismissal of these Magistrates merely on the ground of their attendance at these meetings, and did not precisely say, these meetings were illegal; but he put it on this, that after the declaration of Ministers, it was wrong to attend these meetings. I again repeat, that my noble Friend at the head of the Government must have felt, in the first place, that there could have been no justification upon our part, if we had not felt that men who could attend meetings of this description—who might be called on to keep the Queen's peace against the very meetings which they were attending—were not the persons who were entitled to hold Her Majesty's commission. I say, that that was a complete warning, if they chose to take it; and they were told so here in this House. My noble Friend says, that it was not a warning. I am inclined to believe that even those agitators, who make so many speeches, apparently for the purpose of getting them into the newspapers, would not hold that this was not a warning. Let us now come to the trial, and to the accusations which are made against us. It is said, and very truly, that one of the great benefits of this country is the impartial administration of justice, and that in Ireland, as in England, they have a right to the impartial administration of justice. A word or two about perfect equality by-and-bye; but, with respect to this subject, I say, I defy him to put his finger on any part, not only of this transaction, but of any transaction, connected with courts of justice in Ireland, in which, since the accession of this Government to office, there has been any breach of impartiality or justice to Ireland. The first question on this point is the striking of the jury list. It is said, that there was a great attempt, on the part of the prosecutors, to make out a favourable jury list. My Lords, who began? who first objected? Did the Crown object? No; the traversers first objected. They had a perfect right so to do; but with what object did they object? I take it for granted, they thought the old jury list was unfavourable. It was to be done, according to law, by the Recorder. It was to be done in open court. Protestants might go, on their part, if they thought proper. Repeaters—for I will not call them Roman Catholics—might go on their part, and nobody was more complimentary to the Recorder as to this transaction than the repealers, the traversers, and their attorneys. But it seems, that when they came to strike this jury, some of the list was missing, and I believe my noble Friend is right that it did so happen, that a greater number of Roman Catholics were omitted than there were of Protestants. What takes place? But before I come to that explanation, let me ask my noble Friend, what Government has to do with that? He told us the old story about jury lists having been sent up to the Castle, but I say that Government had nothing to do with it. It was the Recorder's business to make out the list, and if a proper list was not sent into court when the jury was to be struck—if any name was omitted, I say, the Government had nothing whatever to do with it. The Recorder may be exceedingly to blame—it may be great negligence on his part, but I deny that my noble Friend has any right to accuse us. It is true there were two lists lost; they were put away, and were found some days afterwards. In whose charge were these lists? In a Protestant's charge? No; they were in the charge of a certain Mr. M'Grath. I have not the honour of knowing him, but I am told that he happens to be a Roman Catholic. It has been said, that somehow or other the Government contrived that the Recorder should do this business, and I suppose we shall now be told, that we had bribed this Roman Catholic. I will not go further into that, but will only say, that there are other Administrations and other quarters to which the charge of bribery may be applied. I say, then, that this was no scheme on the part of the Government. It is true that some of the slips were omitted, but Government had nothing whatever to do with it, and the person who omitted the slips, and who ought to have produced them, so far from being a Government man, was, in point of fact, a Roman Catholic. A few words on the subject of striking the jury. The proceeding is this:—There are forty-eight names on the jury, and the prosecutor and defendant, on either part, have a right to strike off twelve. There then remain twenty-four. I apprehend the right is this—viz., to strike off all whom they think improper on account of any pre-expressed opinion, or from want of education, or from being stupid, or from a thousand other causes. They strike off those particular individuals who they do not think will give a fair chance of success. I apprehend, that if I, as prosecutor, were to try a party for a conspiracy, emanating from a certain Association for a particular object, I never should think that those persons who were either members of that Association, or subscribers to that Association, or who had declared themselves for Repeal, were persons without bias, and to whom I should trust my cause. What happened? We have it upon the affidavit, not of Mr. Kemmis, the solicitor, but, upon the affidavit of the attorney for the traversers, that these people were struck off, because Mr. Kemmis believed them to be repeaters. He says, first of all, it appears, that of the twelve struck off, two were undoubtedly Protestants. There remained then ten, of whom eight are not denied to be repealers. There remained then two. The name of one is Hendric. Perhaps Mr. Kemmis, the Crown Solicitor, was very stupid; perhaps other gentlemen were equally stupid, but it does so happen, that there was a great consultation about these two gentlemen, and they firmly believed one was a Protestant, and they continue to believe that he was a Protestant. He was struck off then, they believing him to be a Protestant. The other man was Michael Dunn. He belonged to St. Patrick's parish; and it appears that St. Patrick's parish was fruitful in Dunns, and that on the list there was not less than four Michael Dunns. It so happens that not long ago there was a petition from that parish in favour of Repeal, and to that petition was appended the name of Michael Dunn. That gave the Crown Solicitor a notion, that this Michael Dunn was the person on the list of the jury who had already declared his opinion in favour of Repeal by signing a requisition for a meeting to petition in its favour, and that he was consequently biassed. But says my noble Friend, "See what you have done, you have excited all the Roman Catholics against you. See what my Lord Shrewsbury has done; see what the Catholics have done." I ask, was it wise on the part of the Catholics to accuse the Government—to accuse their Protestant countrymen of having done that which declared, that they would not believe a Roman Catholic? I deny, that any such thing was done. I differ from the noble Lord who signed the petition—there was no imputation on Roman Catholics—there is no such feeling. It was not because those persons could not be trusted on their oaths, but it was because, whether Catholics or Protestants, they had declared themselves in favour of Repeal, that they were not fit persons to sit on the jury. I hope then, I have established that we were not anxious to pack a jiffy, or to do anything but give a fair trial between God and their Country to these persons. I now pass to the charge, and I say, that nothing proceeded from the Court or from the Chief Justice tending in any degree to soil the ermine. The Chief Justice listened with the greatest patience to all the proceedings of the Court; he heard all the arguments, he heard all the evidence, and having heard all the arguments and all the evidence, he came undoubtedly to a strong opinion, that the persons charged with the offence were guilty of that offence. My Lords, I say, that a Judge having so conducted himself, having been so patient during that trial, having shown no bias whatever during the whole course of it—having been instructed to give the unanimous opinion of the Bench—not sitting there alone, but accompanied by three other Judges, whose duty it was to express their opinion to the jury—[Lord Campbell: On the law.] Not only on the law, but on the bearing of the facts of the case—I say, that it was his duty, if he really believed these persons were guilty, to say to the jury, "If you believe, as I do, these facts, you will find these persons guilty of conspiracy—for it is a conspiracy in law." When, after hearing a trial impartially, and showing no bias on either side, a judge arrives at a full conclusion in his own mind, that the accused is guilty of the offence with which he is charged, it is his duty to give that opinion to the jury. So much, then, for the trials, upon which the noble Marquis has founded almost his whole attack upon the Government. I stand upon our defence here. I say, that the trial was conducted with as much fairness as any trial was ever conducted; that we have done nothing unfair to procure a conviction; that we produced a case as strong as was ever produced in a court of justice; and that the jury have only done their duty in returning their verdict as they have done. I leave it to the people of England, who hear what passes, or who will know tomorrow what passes within these wails, whether we are not acquitted upon this point, or whether there is any one point on the trial on which Government can be blamed. A word or two as to the Attorney-general Smith. No man can lament more than I do what passed upon the trial; but I do not lament it for the sake of Government. The Government had not, in point of fact, anything to do with it. Whether it did harm or good to the Government or to the traversers, I must lament it for the Attorney-general's sake—I lament it for his sake, as I should lament that any man should so far forget himself, even upon the strongest provocation, as to put himself in a position in which he might justly be entitled to blame for indiscretion; but I appeal to your Lordships—I appeal to all men who have common sense—whether there is not a degree of vituperation which cannot be borne, and whether it is not likely to produce such consequences as have been produced? But the trial being over, I agree with the noble Marquess, that it is the duty of the Government for the future, that as the Government has vindicated the majesty of the Law, and asserted the authority of the Queen in her own dominions, it became the duty of the Government to see what measures could be effected for the future peace and welfare of Ireland. In the first place, I do not think, that an inquiry by a committee of your Lordships' House is the proper course to be adopted in this respect. It is, in my opinion, the especial business of the Government, and the Government alone, to consider and determine upon what measures it will be advisable to propose for effecting the object so much desired by all parties. The noble Marquess then alluded to the Queen's Speech, and, first, as to the Commission of which my noble Friend (the Earl of Devon) is the head. The noble Marquess laid it as a great fault to that Commission, that he did not know its object. Amongst other objects, it is intended, undoubtedly, to look into the relation between Landlord and Tenant—it is undoubtedly intended to see whether something cannot be clone to remove matters which must be allowed to be unjust; not to dictate to Landlords on what particular terms they shall let the land—not to deal with tenancies in any way—but to leave it to the Landlord and to the Tenant to make a bargain in letting their lands, but to take care that no injustice is done to a tenant. There are many things to be considered. My noble Friend knows perfectly well, that in the North of England most of the tenants hold as they do in Ireland. No Tenant leaves without a valuation of his stock, and of everything he has on the ground, and of the improvements he has made on it—he is paid for them. If he has made improvements in a certain number of years, according to his bargain with the Landlord, he is repaid, and this is not a mere matter of arrangement between the Landlord and Tenant, but it is a common-law right, or a right by custom, which the courts of law acknowledge, and on which verdicts have been recovered. That is one of the points upon which inquiry is to be made. There are other things into which we are also anxious to make inquiry. We do not intend to interfere between Landlord and Tenant, except to protect the Tenant from injustice—we do not wish to give him a tenure against the wish of the Landlord. The next thing to which the noble Marquess alluded, is mentioned in Her Majesty's Speech, viz., the Registration of Voters. Your Lordships know, that one of the rights to vote in counties is that of a person having what is called a beneficial interest to a certain amount in land. There have been different opinions as to what was the legal meaning of the term, "a beneficial interest." The question should be decided, and the term, "beneficial" should be so explicit that there should be no mistake about it. We think, and upon good grounds, that the result will be a considerable diminution in the number of voters for counties. The Government contemplate revising the present system of levying not only the county but the borough rates, and to confine the collection of them within better defined limits, so as to relieve the people from the greater part of those payments. The next subject to which we intend to direct our attention, is that of National Education. We contemplate taking measures for the better education of the masters and mistresses of the national schools, and we intend making better regulations for the visitation of those schools. The next subject to which we intend to direct our attention, and to which reference has already been made in the other House of Parliament, is the question of giving glebes or other endowments to clergymen in Ireland, whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, who may be in need of such a provision, but especially to create a provision for the Roman Catholic clergy out of a trust fund set apart for that purpose, and if persons wish to make endowments for the Roman Catholic clergy to legalise them; and this leads me to the question of perfect religious equality as mooted by the noble Marquess as to putting the Roman Catholic clergy of Ireland on a footing of perfect equality with the clergy of the Established Church. I have no hesitation in saying that I can not consent to, this. It should never be forgotten that by the Act of Union the Protestant Church was recognized as the national Church of Ireland; and we are bound by every obligation to keep it up in preference to all others. It was again recognised as the national Church at the time Roman Catholic Emancipation was granted; and we are not prepared to make any concession on this point, however we may be inclined to create a better maintenance for the Roman Catholic clergy. But how would the noble Marquess carry out his views of perfect religious equality? Does he suppose that the people of this country would go with him? Would he allow the Crown to appoint the Protestant Bishops and permit the Catholic Bishops to be appointed by the Pope? Would he agree to allow Roman Catholic Bishops seats in that House? To carry out his views the noble Marquess must, in the first place, create a provision for the Roman Catholic equal to that of the Protestant clergy. Does my noble Friend say he would take away any of the property of the Church? Then, if not, where is the provision to come from? Is an annual sum to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund for this purpose; so that not only every Roman Catholic in England, but every Protestant, and every Dissenter as well, is to be made liable. Is the noble Marquess prepared to say, that the people of England will consent to be thus taxed, or does the noble Marquess mean that he would not pay any of the clergy at all, either Protestant or Catholic? That would certainly be equalising with a vengeance! The next plan for effecting this perfect religious equality would be the destruction of the Protestant Establishment in Ireland; but that I believe would not give satisfaction to the people of England. The third plan would be that recommended in an article I have seen in a quarterly publication, and my noble Friend indites articles against us in quarterly publications, but we are not responsible for such publications. Now, the publication to which I allude proposes another scheme in reference to the present position, and proposes equality of the two Churches. The writer proposes that on the death of the present incumbents the incomes of every church, and every piece of preferment, should be vested in commissioners; that the parochial subdivison should be no longer continued; but the country should be divided into congregational districts; and that the commissioners should pay a certain sum to the Protestant clergy and to the Catholic clergy indifferently. I do not know whether that is a scheme which my noble Friend considers would answer the purpose. What is the amount of the value of the livings in Ireland? Supposing they were all vested in trustees for the maintenance of the Protestant and the Roman Catholic clergy, would they realise a fund adequate? The noble Marquess has said that it was a great insult to the people of Ireland, that the Lord Lieutenant should have promoted the Reverend Holt Waring; and when I heard my noble Friend's lively description of that Gentleman's triumphal procession in military array, I could not avoid observing that it reminded me of a priest entering a town at the head of a great body of people about to join some of the late monster meetings of which we have heard so much. I can only say that this clergyman imitated too closely the conduct pursued by the other parties; and all I can add is, that clergymen would be much better employed than in mixing themselves up with such proceedings. But I am at a loss to know, that if some years ago the Reverend Mr. Waring may have attended a meeting avowedly for the purpose of maintaining the Union between the two countries, that should now be remembered and brought forward as a charge against the present Government of Ireland. Then it is said we have lost the confidence of the majority of the people of Ireland. I do not stop to contend that we have not, but we are supported by the majority of Her Majesty's subjects in Ireland, Scotland, England, and the Colonies; but then it is said, we legislate for one part or portion of the population of Ireland, and that no Roman Catholics are promoted to high offices: that is not our fault; we have done our best to invite qualified persons of that persuasion, and if they do not come and meet us in a similar spirit we are not to blame. I conclude by thanking the noble Marquess for the opportunity he has given me of vindicating our acts. We have done our duty; our conduct is before the country; we are ready to abide the result of the opinion of our countrymen; we are ready to aid Her Majesty in maintaining the Legislative Union inviolate, and in upholding the supremacy of the Law.

The Marquess of Normanby

wished to say in explanation, that he had never offered any suggestion about the paying of the Catholic clergy. On the contrary, he had said that he thought, it not expedient to attempt it. But he certainly expressed his wish to see the Catholic clergy put on a footing of equality, which was the object of the Emancipation Act.

The Marquess of Clanricarde

said, that undoubtedly the noble Lord, the President of the Council had made an able and eloquent speech, and had addressed himself to their Lordships in a tone with which he (the Marquess of Clanricarde) was highly gratified; but he regretted extremely that he could not agree with the noble Lord in by far the greater part of what he had said. Unfortunately, although the tone of the noble Lord, when speaking of Ireland, had been highly gratifying; and although that tone had been assumed before by some of the noble Lord's Colleagues, yet it had happened that the deeds of those who adopted that tone did not correspond with its conciliatory spirit. He was, therefore, rather disposed to look into the acts of the noble Lord and his Colleagues, than to regard their words, and to see distinctly what it was that the noble Lord declared to the House, and weigh well the value of it. But, before he did so, he would allude for a moment to what had been done with respect to the past. The noble Lord, he thought, was giving great thanks for small mercies, when he expressed so much gratitude to the noble Marquess for the opportunity which he had afforded him of meeting these charges; for, although the noble Lord had met the charges most boldly, yet he (the Marquess of Clanricarde) did not perceive the noble Lord had answered them. The noble Lord had said, "we did so and so, and we leave it to the country to say whether we were right or wrong," but he did not answer the charges made against him and the Government, or justify that which they had done. The noble Lord contented himself with the old story of saying, that he had not read the newspapers. [Lord Wharncliffe: I did not say that I had not read the newspapers.] No, no; but the noble Lord said, that he had never heard of Mr. Smith, a Gentleman appointed to be Her Majesty's Attorney-general. Yes; this Gentleman, who was appointed to that important office, was nevertheless a person of whom one of Her Majesty's Ministers had never heard. And why? Because, said the noble Lord, he was not conversant with the proceedings in the Irish law courts. Perhaps if the noble Lord had been conversant with those proceedings, he would not necessarily have been conversant with the name of Mr. Smith. But still the noble Lord might have been aware of the remarkable meeting at which Mr. Smith made himself as remarkable by the speech he delivered there, and by which speech, Mr. Smith, for the first time, became known. But to revert to the mode in which the noble Lord had met the charges brought forward by his noble Friend. It appeared to him, that the noble Lord had not given any answer to those charges. There was one charge which the noble Lord had totally left unanswered—what was the state of Ireland at this moment? and what was it when the noble Lord and his Colleagues came into power. Had the noble Lord attempted to account for the disastrous and calamitous condition of that country. He thought it was discreet and wise of the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Roden), whom, though differing with him in politics, he hoped he might be permitted to call his Friend—he thought it was discreet and wise in his noble Friend, on a former occasion, to take no notice of the present state of Ireland, considering the attacks which he himself had made, in the sincerity of his heart, with great violence, upon a former Ministry, when the condition of Ireland was the subject of his animadversions. On that occasion, his noble Friend (the Marquess of Normanby) was accused by the noble Earl of being in fact as had as, if not in truth a member of, the General Association, because he did not take notice of its proceedings, and prosecute the members of it. What had become of that Association? What had been the state of Ireland throughout the whole of last year? and what was that state at the present moment? What was the state of the Government in Ireland? It held authority there by military occupation, and by no other power whatever. That was the fact. No man who resided in Ireland, or who had been there as a sojourner for any portion of time, could attempt to deny it. There ought to be explanation on the part of the Government to account for this state of things, because no new matter had arisen in Ireland. Nothing whatever had occurred in Ireland that might not have been anticipated by Her Majesty's Ministers at the time they assumed office. The right hon. Baronet, at the head of Her Majesty's Government, had candidly said, before being called to power, that Ireland would be his difficulty. And why did he say so? Because he well knew the nature of the Government which he would of necessity have to administer affairs in that country. It was quite evident, from the tone taken by the right hon. Gentleman upon more than one occasion, that he felt embarrassed by the consciousness of the natural complexion which his Government in Ireland must assume, and from the whole tenor of his Government in that country, conducted, as it necessarily was, by the particular description of men who stood forward to support him. It was a vice inherent in the party which supported the Government, and from which the Government could not extricate themselves. They might have done so at one time. But there was one fundamental error and vice in the policy upon which the Government of Ireland proceeded. He was not now alluding to those party attacks which noble Lords, when in opposition, made against the late Government. He was taking a wider view of the subject, when he said that the great practical vice of the present Government in Ireland was this, that there existed a feeling that the Roman Catholics could not safely be entrusted with political power, or with the exercise of those full and free franchises which the rest of the country enjoyed. The people of Ireland being Roman Catholics, the argument necessarily came to this, that they could not admit the people of Ireland to a full, fair, and free equality with the rest of the country in the exercise of the rights of the subjects of the British empire. That was the argument used upon the discussion of the Catholic question; and it was on that occasion declared by those who now governed the country, that although Catholic Emancipation had been granted, still they had not changed their opinion. The fact therefore was, that the British Constitution was not administered in Ireland, because there was no public opinion recognised in Ireland; there was no appeal made to it, there was no wish to conciliate it. The noble President of the Council had said, that the Government had watched the meetings which had been held with great anxiety until they could find, what he termed, an opportunity to put them down. Assuming that there was great anxiety for this opportunity, he would ask, in the name of common sense, whether the same opportunity was not afforded at Mullaghmast or at Tara, where meetings were held disturbing the peace of the country? and if the Lord-lieutenant had chosen to issue his proclamation, whether they would not have been as easily dispersed as that of Clontarf? There was no reason to doubt it. But when the Government made up their mind how to act, they committed themselves of lathes in not following up their act by a different kind of prosecution, for they had alleged that seditious language had been held. If that were true, and seditious language had been held at former meetings, they might have instituted prosecutions before. But he contended it was contrary to the whole spirit and feeling of the people of this country, as well as of the people of Ireland, to let persons go on in a series of acts which were asserted to be not legal, and then at last bring forward an accumulated series of those acts against them whereupon to found an accusation and a charge. It would be absurd to deny that these persons had been guilty of conspiracy in the legal sense of the term, and he believed that the jury had found a perfectly honest verdict. Whatever he might think of the complexion and the religious and political opinions of that jury, he was bound to say he believed they had found an honest verdict. He was told that conspiracy must be shown by overt acts; but overt acts possibly legal in themselves, but tending to an illegal object. But he contended again that it was contrary to the feeling of the people of this country to attack men by that sort of proceeding, a proceeding which was a branch or part of that hateful and odious charge known as constructive treason, the construing a number of legal acts in such a way as to show an illegal intention. It was not a mode of proceeding likely to conciliate public opinion. He would venture to say, that some of those persons who had been tried had no notion they were engaged in a conspiracy any more than the character in Molière's comedy had, that he had been talking prose—they had no idea they had committed the offence for which they had been tried, and that was the opinion of the great majority of the people of Ireland. However, the Government was determined to put down those meetings, and they issued the proclamation, and he differed entirely from the noble President in his opinion of that proceeding. He deemed the steps taken by the Government to be characterised by rashness, and to have incurred the danger of bloodshed. If it were true that the proclamation could not be published until a late hour on the Saturday to stop a meeting to be held on the Sunday, that should have been a reason for the Lord-lieutenant to have acted differently. It would have been more consonant with the discretion and prudence of a Christian Government to have allowed the meeting to go on rather than have incurred the risk of bloodshed on the Sunday. But, if the noble Lord had read the newspapers, he would have known that the very danger that was deprecated was actually incurred, that the people were assembled in crowds, during the night, to be ready for the meeting of the morning; and until the arrival of the messengers from the Repeal Association in post-chaises, the people were not aware that the meeting would not be allowed to take place. Whatever might be said of Mr. O'Connell, he believed that it was owing to the immense influence of that learned Gentleman, and which he exercised effectually, that that day passed over without bloodshed, the proclamation having been issued, the meeting prevented, and the trials resolved upon. If there was one thing more desirable than another in these proceedings, in a free country especially, it was, that public opinion should go along with them. The first thing was to have an impartial tribunal. He had said, he believed the verdict to be an honest one: he could not know whether it was an impartial one. He knew that it would have been hard to get an impartial jury; but when his noble Friend stated that there had been a call made to the Protestants to come in and fill up the jury list, the noble President asked, in return, by whom that call had been begun? Whether it had begun with Catholic, Protestant, Presbyterian, or Jew, it mattered not to the question. [Lord Wharncliffe: What had the Government to do with it?] So much, that before they instituted proceedings, they had a right to look at all the consequences likely to flow from their act; and was it to be conceived by any man that this consequence would not naturally and to a certainty ensue—a discussion upon the constitution of the jury—and that the whole trial would be thought to turn upon the mode in which that jury was formed? He would refer as to a case in point, to the Bill brought in by the Lord Chancellor last year, for the purpose of changing the venue, but which merged at last in the question of the jury. Both parties, the Catholics on the one side, and the Protestants on the other, were inflamed with prejudice, and could it be expected, after ten Catholics had been struck off the list, thus leaving three of the traversers, being Catholics, to be tried by a jury exclusively Protestant, that public opinion would go along with the Government—that the public would be- lieve the jury to be a fair and impartial jury, or that they would be convinced hat any real offence had been committed by the accused—the offence, moreover, being one of a constructive nature. Every one of these consequences ought to have been looked to by the Government, anticipated as likely to arise naturally, and to have been fully provided for, before the prosecutions were instituted. There was me part in the proclamation in particular, which struck him as being so rash, as exhibiting so much blundering, needless energy, that, without meaning any disrespcet to his noble Friend, who filled the office of Lord Lieutenant—he had no desire whatever to allude to him personally—he spoke only in reference to the Lord Lieutenancy, he being of opinion that this office would be much better abolished—that he was obliged to draw attention to it. He was sure, had there been no viceregal court, and had the powers of Government been otherwise vested, he was sure it was impossible this could have occurred—that such an important proclamation would have been posted up on a Saturday night, thus risking the peace and the sanctity of the Sabbath. There was another circumstance for which the noble Lord was not to be personally blamed—it was the vice of the Irish system of Government. He alluded to the calling on the Privy Council to assist at the deliberations. In general Roman Catholics, who were members of this Council were summoned without distinction; but in this single case, the rule was departed from. The Lord Lieutenant on this occasion was surrounded with his particular adherents, and, with the exception of Lord Donoughmore, there were no Roman Catholics present, though many were within reach of summons. This matter, he could tell their Lordships, had not escaped the observation of the people of Ireland. The noble President was proud because he had got a verdict, and appeared to think that now all was right. He admitted one good consequence that had resulted from the Government proceedings—there had been no more monster meetings. But had the agitation ceased since these meetings had ceased? He did not wish to appear as an agitator, but he occasionally followed that practice which the noble Lord had repudiated—namely, reading the newspapers; and if he were to trouble the House with extracts, he could show that language had been used upon the subject of Repeal since the date of these prosecutions, as strong, or stronger, even, than that which had been used before. Seditious songs, the diction of which was far stronger, had been printed and copied, he believed, into almost every newspaper. The Repeal Association still existed; the agitators did not intend to give up their agitation. He viewed these things, however, as of comparatively little account; but what he regarded with the greatest anxiety was the progress of the repeal question in the public mind, and the consideration whether the people of Ireland were acquiring more confidence in the impartial administration of Government in that country. The question whether the Irish nation, Roman Catholic as well as Protestant were better contented than they had been with the administration of the executive Government, and of the law, and whether they were better contented with the Legislation of the Imperial Parliament. That was a subject of vital importance to consider, and let not the noble Lord think that because they had a military force in Ireland, which caused any attempt at rising ridiculous—a rising. however, which he, for his part, did not believe had ever been meant to be made—that therefore they had secured the tranquillity of that country. Such a state of things was not tranquillity, nay, it was not civil government, and upon that point he would quote the words of one of the most illustrious men who had ever sprung from an Irish race—he meant Mr. Burke, and who had said that The effect of force can be but temporary. By force you may for a time subdue, but you do not remove the necessity to subdue, and that country is not governed which has continually to be coerced. That was the sentiment of Burke; and let not the noble Lord, then, suppose, because there were fortified barracks in which fugitives from an insurrection might seek refuge, or armed ships in the harbours to shelter the families of those who might be engaged in strife, that therefore the country was in tranquillity and peace. There was much at the termination of the speech of the noble Lord which he was glad to hear, and he would have been still better pleased had the beneficial measures been more general and more extensive. A step had, however, been taken, and a step in the right direction, and he thanked Government for what they had done and for what they proposed to do. He alluded to the proposal for enabling Government to endow the Roman Catholic Church. He strongly felt the necessity for such a measure, and he was delighted to hear this was to be done. He also was glad to hear that the grants for National Education were to be increased. That, however, was undoubtedly an absolute necessity if they meant the present system to be continued at all, for the whole Educational establishment had arrived at that pitch, that the grant must he increased or the system given up. He was one who thought that scheme was the most excellent that could have been devised for joint education. He knew there were great difficulties and objections to be encountered in any attempt at establishing a joint education; but, be that as it might, the present was a wise and beneficent measure, and had worked great benefit to the people. At the same time, if the Government meant that the system should be established in Ireland—if they meant to protect that scheme of National Education, he must tell them it was not only by increasing the grant—and he hoped that the increase would be a large one—but it was not only by increasing the grant even to the full extent by which the system could be thoroughly and practically worked out, that then their intentions would be realised. The plan would never be carried out to its original extent until it was brought in harmony with the Protestant as well as the Roman Catholic clergy. It had been objected against this scheme by a noble Lord opposite, and by others out of doors, that it would not succeed, because it was not supported by the clergy. That fault, however, lay not with the system, but in the unfortunate party spirit which had unfortunately been infused into the system. It was this party feeling which had divided the clergy from these schools. If the Government meant to uphold National Education in Ireland, they would let it be known that it was their intention to bring it in unison and harmony with the working clergy of Ireland, by their choice of the persons whom they selected for employment, and would show that they (the Government) did not approve of those who made violent speeches, and took strong measures to put down and counteract that system, and to excite against it the ill will of the clergy. But the per- sons who had been promoted in Ireland, had been more distinguished by hostility to the National Educational scheme than by any thing else. He did not mean to assert, that those persons were otherwise unworthy of their promotion; but he must remark, that the very last prelate who had been appointed, however distinguished for ability in other respects, has been more conspicuously before the Irish public in their efforts against the National Board, than in any other capacity. So long as the Government favours and advancements were granted to those who were distinguished for their opposition to the Education scheme, and who had pronounced it contrary to the religion established by law in the country, the ministers would not give real and effectual support to the National Board. The noble Lord the President of the Council had alluded to the Commission for Inquiry into the relations of Landlord and Tenant. They were told that the effect of that Commission would be, that no injustice would be committed by the landlords of Ireland. But that was not sufficient. Care must be taken, that no injustice should be done by tenants also, or they came at once to fixity of tenure. Every one knew the mass of pauperism and destitution which existed in Ireland, and if the Government wished to relieve that, why had they appointed a Commission which could effect no good for a year? It would not be fair for him to deny that there were parts of Ireland where land was too high; but he presumed that was also the case in England, for he occasionally read of cases where landlords returned to their tenants so much per cent. on the amount of their rents. He would say, that at that time of great agitation, when such dreadful crimes were perpetrated, arising out of this very occupancy of land, it was rash in the Government to issue a Commission, which must undoubtedly convey to the popular mind in Ireland an intimation that the Ministers thought the landlords of Ireland were the parties who were doing wrong, and that to them much of the misery of the country was to be attributed. A new Commission had been issued; but the Government did not choose to attend the reports of Commissions which were already on the Table of the House. Now one of the greatest grievances in the rural districts, was the pressure of the cess and local taxes upon the land. There was a report from a Commission, appointed by the late Government, to inquire into the working of the Grand Jury Law, and that report, made in April, 1842, showed him 160,000l. might he saved to the counties of Ireland entirely in rates, and cesses, and taxes that pressed upon the tenants. It was of no use appointing these commissions, if when the reports were made, they were laid upon the Table, and no notice taken of them. The report he alluded to, he had hardly ever heard mentioned; it was in the library, but he did not know whether any of the Members of the Government had read it. Then there was the Commission of Inquiry into the Poor-law, and it appeared that now the poor-rate could not be collected without troops and police, and that there was a regular campaign, and an army maintained, to collect the impost in some unfortunate baronies. The grievances of Ireland were such, as every well wisher to that country must wish to see redressed, not by Reports of Commissions, but practically and well. The Commissioners of that Poor-law Inquiry stated, that no one measure could be devised by any set of men for the amelioration of Ireland; but they recommended a series of measures—a system of emigration, of public works, and others, by which much good might be done. The public works in Ireland had paid the Government over and over again, by an increase of taxation. He regretted he could not concur in the defence which the noble Lord opposite had made of the Government. He (the Marquess of Clanricarde) could not admit, that the noble Lord had given any reason whatever—and the responsibility rested with him and the Government. The state of Ireland was now that in which property was insecure, while the law was maintained only by the presence of physical and military force. The present Government had found the country tranquil, and in the enjoyment of a free constitution; they had now brought her into such a state, that she could not be considered as placed under a civil government; and he believed, that unless the Government took much stronger and more effective measures than they had yet taken, the state of the country would not improve. Let it be remembered, that we paying an immense army for doing nothing, were but for upholding the misgovernment of Ireland. He would not hold out any threats; therefore he would not allude to possible contingencies. He knew it had been held, that if England were placed in a situation of great difficulty, Ireland would add to the embarrassment of the State; but he did not believe this, because Ireland had too great a share in the glory of this country, lightly to desert her in the hour of need or danger. He did not believe, that the Irish would be more backward than they had hitherto been in maintaining the power and dignity of the country. He trusted to the good feeling, to the loyalty, to that fidelity which had been called by the great Grattan, the desperate fidelity of the Irish people. At the same time he thought the feelings of human nature must actuate the Irish as they did other men, and that if this country persisted in governing them by military force alone, they could not hope to retain the affections of the people.

The Earl of Roden

said he could not allow the unwarrantable aspersions thrown out by the noble Marquess to pass unnoticed. In finding fault with the late Government on account of the various agitations which existed during their tenure of office, he (the Earl of Roden) had held it to be his duty to call the attention of the House to what he conceived to be the misgovernment of Ireland by the noble Lords opposite. He was not influenced by any party views or objects, and was actuated by no feeling but a sincere desire to forward the happiness and prosperity of the country to which he belonged. The noble Marquess had said that when other persons were in office he (the Earl of Roden) had taken no notice of such transactions, but passed them over in silence. He would call the attention of their Lordships to the real facts. On the very first day of the last Session he had taken the liberty of giving notice in that House, that in consequence of the agitation for the Repeal of the Union it was his intention to put a question on the subject to Her Majesty's Ministers. He did, on that occasion, give his opinion as to the circumstances which marked the agitation, and called the attention of Government to its progress. Towards the close of the Session he felt it to be his duty to follow the same course he had always followed on this question, and he again appealed to noble Lords behind him to adopt the measures which the state of public affairs pointed out as necessary. He maintained, therefore, that there was no ground whatever for the statement of the noble Marquess with respect to the line of conduct which he (the Earl of Roden) had pursued. He could not help saying a word or two on the speech of the noble Marquess who had brought this subject forward. He had listened to that speech with great attention. It was a speech of great talent, and distinguished by much information as to the state of Ireland; but throughout the whole of his remarks, the noble Marquess appeared to have taken it for granted that the people of Ireland approved of the course which he had taken when he was in that country, and that the great body of them entertained the same opinions as the noble Marquess. Now, he begged leave to tell the noble Marquess that in that country there was a very large and influential portion of the inhabitants who differed most widely from the opinions and conduct maintained by him; persons who traced the very circumstances in which Ireland was now placed to the conduct of the noble Marquess. It would be in the recollection of their Lordships, that on the inquiry before the Committee (on the State of Crime in Ireland) for which he had moved, many circumstances connected with the career of the noble Marquess in that country were elicited, and no person who considered these circumstances could refuse to admit that persons of all opinions, anxious for the peace and welfare of the country, were opposed to the course which the noble Marquess thought it his duty to pursue during his temporary reign. The noble Marquess might laugh; those times were gone by; but they were now reaping the effects of that wholesale discharge from the gaols which was carried on under the auspices of the noble Marquess, without any reason for the extraordinary course he took. The noble Marquess had uttered very strong language, condemnatory of Her Majesty's Government, referring to the magistrates who were removed from the commission in consequence of the countenance they had lent to the Repeal agitation. But he would ask, were no magistrates removed when the noble Marquess and his friends were in office? Where was the difference between their removals and the removals of his noble Friends behind him? In the latter case magistrates were removed for taking part in an object which was now proved to be a conspiracy, to effect by illegal means the dismemberment of the empire. Under the late Government, one magistrate was removed because his wife had an orange ribbon in her breast on the 12th of July, and others were displaced for reasons equally frivolous. Among them was the Rev. Holt Waring, the same individual whom the noble Marquess afterwards appointed on the commission of the peace, and who was still on it, as he ought to be, being a man of large landed property. As to the circumstance on which so much stress had been laid, that that gentleman had been appointed to the deanery of Dromore after having attended the meeting at Hillsborough with a large number of followers, the fact was that a great part of them consisted of his own tenantry. Those removed from the commission of the peace by the present Government were men who had supported by their presence the Repeal of the Legislative Union, which meant neither more nor less than the disruption of the empire. Magistrates attending meetings called to obtain that object could not be fit persons to hold the commission of the peace, and he thought Government would have been extremely culpable if they had allowed those men to remain any longer in the commission after they had ascertained their views. The noble Marquess had stated that he conceived it would be much better that the question of Repeal should be legally canvassed in that and the other House of Parliament, instead of putting persons on their trial who had been engaged in promoting that object. Why, that was the very opinion which they (the Ministerial side) held, and therefore it was that they found fault with Mr. O'Connell and the other agitators who were crying out for Repeal. For what reason did they not come to that and the other House to discuss the subject, in order that it might there be decided whether the measure was possible, and likely to be productive of benefit? The agitation carried on during the past year had been the source of numberless evils to Ireland; it had produced the greatest dismay; it had been the means of checking industry, of stopping commerce, and preventing every benefit which would naturally have accrued to the country; and therefore, he confessed that he had found fault with noble Lords behind him for not having before taken measures to bring it to a close. After the explanation of the noble Lord the President of the Council, however, and the effects which would probably be produced by the result of the late trial, he was inclined to think that Minis- ters were perhaps in the right, in allowing things to proceed to the length they had reached before they struck the blow which now appeared to have been effected. One thing to be remarked was, that many Roman Catholics were as much averse to this agitation as any persons could be, and found it to interfere fatally with their objects of industry, but they were forced to join in it in consequence of the long delay which took place before Government arrested the progress of the agitation. But the old adage was good, "better late than never;" and he trusted the course which had been pursued and the effect produced by the trial would prove most beneficial to all classes of Her Majesty's subjects. Much fault had been found by the noble Marquess with respect to the challenging of the jury, but he thought the noble Lord (Lord Wharncliffe) had given a complete answer to that charge. He begged the House to bear in mind, that the Repeal question had been made a great religious question in Ireland. Almost the whole of the Roman Catholic hierarchy and priesthood had joined the Repeal movement, and therefore it was very natural to say that it had been made a Roman Catholic question. The idea in the minds of the people was this—he spoke not from what he had been told by others, but from what he had heard and observed among the people themselves—it was, that the passing of Repeal must destroy the Protestant religion in Ireland, and establish the Roman Catholic in its stead. That was their opinion, that was what they believed, and, therefore, he said it was now regarded in Ireland as a religious subject. Such being the case, was it not natural to say without at all impeaching the oath of any Roman Catholic, without at all supposing that a Roman Catholic juror was not as competent to give a verdict as a Protestant, that there might be some bias in the minds of the individuals, and that when they came into the jury-box, this bias might be the means of their giving a verdict which otherwise they might not have returned? He would mention a circumstance which would show what caution was necessary on the part of the Attorney-general in choosing the persons who were to be placed in the jury-box. On the grand jury, there were three Roman Catholics. The grand jury found the bill, and after the bill had been brought up, one of the jury came forward, and having taken the oath that he would keep his own counsel and the counsel of his fellow-jurors, told the judge that he dissented on one point from the verdict to which they had come. He said that this was sufficient to have induced the Attorney-general to be careful as to the persons whom he put on the jury. Had that functionary allowed persons to be jurors who had that strong bias in their minds, it would have been said by every one who looked at the circumstance, that he was not an honest man, and that the Government only wanted to have a sham trial. Under the circumstances, he thought the Attorney-general was quite right in the course he had pursued. The noble Lord had stated at the Table the measures which Government had in contemplation, as sets-off to the coercive steps which had been taken. He should not give any opinion on those questions; they would come before their Lordships in the regular shape; and he should take an opportunity of stating his sentiments regarding them. But with regard to one of those subjects—that of National Education—he felt it his duty to say a word, as one who had opposed in that House, in as straightforward a manner as possible, the introduction of the system. He opposed it on principle—not, as the noble Marquess had said, from parliamentary motives, but because it deprived the people of the Scriptures of Truth; and he declared in that House, when he did oppose it, that these were the reasons why he would not consent to any system of education in Ireland which robbed the people of that country of the greatest treasure and blessing they could enjoy. As a resident proprietor of Ireland, he could not but thank noble Lords behind him for the course they, as Members of the Government had pursued, as to the late trials. He could not but be of opinion they had pursued the course likely to give peace and prosperity to that part of the country, as well as satisfaction to the people of England. He hoped they would steadily continue in their course, turning neither to the right nor to the left, but asserting the supremacy of the law, and determined to apply every means in their power to put down attempts to disturb the peace of the land.

The Earl of Devon

said, as so much allusion had been made to the subject of the Commission of which he was a Member, and as so much misconception ap- peared to prevail respecting it, he thought it proper to say a few words, in order that that misconception might be removed. It had been supposed, that the Commission would take a very narrow course in examining witnesses, and that they would not enter on those topics which it was most important to the welfare of Ireland that they should consider. He would state very shortly the course the Commission had taken, and which they meant to pursue. It was in the latter part of November that the Commission was issued to inquire into the Tenure and Occupation of Land in Ireland, and ascertain the burdens which pressed respectively on the landlords and on the tenants. On the very first day of December, he had proceeded to Ireland, and he remained actively engaged in the duties of the Commission till the meeting of Parliament. The course they had taken in order to acquire information was simply this. After deliberating two or three days together, they issued a circular letter addressed to all the boards of guardians, to all the Protestant and all the Roman Catholic bishops, pointing out the subjects on which they wished information, and requesting their assistance in procuring it. He was happy to say, that in every quarter they had met with the most kind answers; all parties seemed disposed to give information and assist them in their inquiries. They had pursued their inquiries in Dublin in pursuance of their object, they had felt it to be their duty to examine there persons of various classes, and they had at the same time made known by circular letters their intention to visit in the course of the inquiry various parts of the country, in order to collect information on the spot. It must be obvious to their Lordships, that they could make no inquiry into the occupation of land which did not embrace all the existing relations between landlord and tenant. It would be their duty to examine accurately all the information contained in the reports to which the noble Marquess had referred, and which, he agreed with the noble Marquess, had not obtained all the attention to which it was justly entitled, and it would be their further duty to consider any measures that might be suggested to them, in order to carry out the recommendations contained in the various reports, as well as any which they might themselves propose. Their proceedings had been carried on in Ireland up to the meeting of Parliament, and in the early part of March they would again repair to that country and continue their inquiries. He could assure their Lordships there was no part of the relations between landlord and tenant which could be made the subject of inquiry, and on which recommendations could be made, which would not attract their attention. They did not approach the subject with any preconceived idea that the landlords were wrong, or that the tenants were wrong, but with an anxious desire to ascertain what were the causes of that state of things which, unhappily, now subsisted, and had long subsisted in that country. It had been stated, and truly, that the poverty of the tenants was the cause of that state of things. It would be their duty to point out any measures which might appear to them advisable, in order to remove that poverty, and alleviate the distress which now weighed down the agricultural population of Ireland. They would bring their labours to a close as early as possible, and at an early period after, noble Lords would have an opportunity of examining all they had done, and till then, he trusted their Lordships would give the Commissioners credit for an earnest wish closely to examine the subject, and to lose no time in doing so. Of the policy of issuing the Commission it was not his business to speak; he could only say, that the inquiry would be prosecuted through every channel likely to give impartial information, and he had the satisfaction of saying, as far as he had the opportunity of judging, that the desire to furnish this information had been elicited in various parts of the country by the course which the Commission had taken. He might be permitted to add, it was a mistake to suppose that when they were absent from Ireland, they were altogether idle on the subject of the inquiry. Much of the inquiry they could pursue in this country. There was hardly a day on which some portion of his time was not devoted to the subject. Their Lordships would scarcely credit the amount of information which had been laid before the Commissioners, the arrangement of which enforced considerable labour on their secretary. The letters he had that day received were marked 561 and 562, which would give some idea of the extent of their correspondence. As some observations had been made as to the selection of their secretary, he might add, that the choice of secretary having been devolved upon the Commissioners, and many applications from various quarters having been made to them, they had taken all the pains they could in the selection of an individual who had given great attention to the subject, and who had made long inquiry into the tenure of land; and they had every reason to be pleased with the choice they had made.

The Marquess of Westmeath

said, having been in Ireland for some months, he thought that a very good reason why their Lordships on the other side of the House, who were not perhaps very well disposed towards him, should give him an opportunity of expressing his sentiments on this occasion, in preference, perhaps, to any English Lord who had not been there at all. In giving support to Her Majesty's Government on general principles, some noble Lords were doubtless far superior to him, but in respect to his knowledge of the country, he thought he had a fair claim on their Lordships' attention. He might say that, without vanity, as far as residence could entitle him to say so, he possessed knowledge. He must say, he thought the attacks which had been made on the Government were very unfair. They had been charged with that which they could have had nothing to do with. They had not, and they could not have had anything to do with the arrangement of the jury panel on this or any other occasion. The panel was selected by law, and if there was any person to be blamed for what had occurred, it was the Recorder; and he was not blamed, because it was known that he discharged his duties as an honest judge ought to do. He contended that the language of the Attorney-general, in stating the case, was such as a sound lawyer, and a cool, calm, and dispassionate man ought to have used. There were no flowers of eloquence in his speech. He was in great hopes that the noble Marquess would have come forward with remedies proper for the condition of Ireland, instead of confining himself entirely to blaming the conduct of the present Government since they had come into power. The noble Marquess said, the popular will had not sufficient influence on the representation of Ireland. Were not, he would ask, 105 Members sufficient? Would the noble Marquess ven- ture to say, that 620 Members in a room were not sufficient to conduct any mass of public business? When that was the case, and when it was known that they might frequently come to vote, but did not, would the noble Marquess tell them, that if there were other Members in the House they would be found more efficient still? If he thought the representation insufficient, he should be as ready as any man to enter the lists on the subject; but he could not conceive on what grounds any rational man could give ear to the charges of the agitators on the subject. When he saw a noble Marquess, who was not connected with Ireland by property or by residence, but who had happened adventitiously to be there, standing up to instruct the Irish Peers in their duty, as if there were not other persons capable of defending Ireland from injustice, in case any had been committed. The noble Marquess had made many insinuations not very complimentary to the magistrates of Ireland respecting their conduct in enforcing the Irish Arms Act. The fact was, that there had been only two places in which there was any attempt to give a strict interpretation to the Irish Arms Act—one in the county of Cork, and the other in Queen's County. This was a subject on which no proper opinion could be given, except by one who had been resident in the country. Who could tell what might happen at any moment? The opinion of the magistrates was, that Repeal Wardens were not fit to hold arms, because, in case of a rising, they would be most forward against Her Majesty's Government. Arms had been refused to be allowed to persons whom it was feared would use them for the purposes of assassination, and for this the magistrates had been denounced as Orangemen, and had had much opprobrium cast upon them. That feeling, however, he rejoiced to say, had been transitory. Their Lordships must know that the magistracy of Ireland did defer their opinions to that of the Government, and the known feeling of the House of Commons. The insinuation, therefore, of the noble Marquess was unnecessary, and came from him with a very bad grace. They were then reminded by another noble Marquess of the burthens which pressed upon the occupiers of land. The noble Marquess who originated the debate found fault with the excessive taxation of the Irish people, but suggested no means whereby it could be diminished. The report of the Committee upon the Grand Jury had been alluded to, in which there was much useful information, with which subjects, as well as that of a new Poor-law, he thought the House should grapple. His noble Friend—whom he did not see in his place—had denounced the Poor-law as much as any man, but certainly not more than it deserved; he did not, however, inform their Lordships that that Law was a Whig measure, which had been imposed on the country by his hon. Friend, a very confident ex-minister, whose assurance had been very well described by the Rev. Sidney Smith. He invited the noble Lords to co-operate with him in bringing about an amelioration of that law in Ireland, to which at the time of its passing he (the Marquess of Westmeath) gave his utmost opposition; when he was answered by a noble Lord, "If you do not take care of your poor, we must see that you shall be compelled to do so." The experiment had been tried—the new Poor-law had been forced down the people's throat, it was completely at a stand-still, and they were obliged to employ an army to levy the rates; and before long the present Government would see that some change was necessary in that law to preserve that country in peace and put down agitation. The noble Marquess, who opened the debate, had touched a little upon the Landlords and Tenant Commission; and from his observations it appeared that he seemed to think that the result of the present state of things in Ireland was a consequence of the price of food being regulated by the landlords. [The Marquess of Normanby denied that such had been his statement.] He was glad to hear his noble Friend give that explanation. The con-acre in Ireland was, generally speaking, given by middle men, and not by the landlords. The middle men, in fact, were the rulers of the land; and in the absence of markets, which could not exist in a country where there were not the ordinary money payments for labour, the necessity of occupying the land in this manner was the result. Unfortunately many of those who employed labourers did not pay them in money, and the labouring population were consequently compelled to seek their food in this objectionable manner. Not only had the landlords of Ireland nothing to do with the existence of this system, but it was to them a great misfortune. With respect to the agitation which had recently been going on in Ireland, he begged to remind their Lordships of a fact which had been dwelt upon on many previous occasions, namely, that the statement of Ireland's grievances had generally been put forward by the leading agitator in that country. He (the Marquess of Westmeath) admitted that unhappily things in that country were not exactly what they ought to be. But yet it was to be observed that, almost upon every occasion when those grievances were laid before the public through the medium of the newspapers, it was done by persons who assumed to themselves to direct the people how they should feel, and what they should do in consequence. He did not, therefore, apprehend the fulfilment of those predictions of evil which it was alleged were hanging over that country at the present time. He (the Marquess of Westmeath) had an intimate knowledge of the feelings of the people of Ireland, among whom he almost constantly resided, and who he was certain, if they were allowed to express their opinions, would declare that they were most anxious that this agitation should be put an end to, and that the government of that country may be so exercised, and the law so administered, as that they may feel that they shall receive protection if they venture to resist the exactions which have been imposed upon them, and which exactions have afterwards been represented as voluntary subscriptions by the parties who have been exciting the country, and disturbing the peace of Her Majesty's subjects within it. The Irish people were an amiable race, but unfortunately were not so highly instructed as could be wished. They were almost generally under the influence of the Roman Catholic priests, of whom, although he did not wish to make a sweeping condemnation, yet certainly they were very much identified with the present system of agitation, as was proved by their own avowals at many of those late meetings which had now been declared illegal. It could not be doubted that the Roman Catholic bishops, with one or two honourable exceptions, were all engaged in that movement. He himself had known a priest, who, upon refusing to allow the repeal rent to be made in his chapel was suspended by his bishop for a month. He mentioned this fact in order to show that he had no intention of making a sweeping charge against the whole of the Roman Catholic clergy, although the greater portion of that body had identified themselves with agitation in that country. Upon one occasion, at Lismore, Mr. O'Connell himself told his hearers, that his friends and colleagues in agitation (alluding to the Roman Catholic clergy) had lately thrown aside their duties of preaching, and he (Mr. O'Connell) had, therefore, himself put on the gown, and taken to sermonising. The clergy and agitators being thus united, the people were made to believe that it was to their interest to act in the way in which they had lately done. The noble Marquess who opened the debate had represented that there was but one feeling throughout Europe with reference to the affairs of Ireland, and he (the Marquess of Westmeath) was sorry to say he believed this to be in a great measure correct, although he did not believe the evils of that country were attributable to the administration of the present Government. The Conservative or the Protestant party in Ireland had declared their sincere wish for the maintenance of the Union between the two countries; but they had not thought it worth while to issue any counter statements in France or any other part of Europe to those which had been issued on the continent of Europe by Roman Catholics of Ireland; but it did not therefore follow, that the statements which had been made in those foreign countries were true.

Lord Howden

stated, that he certainly should not have taken up their Lordships' time, had it not been tor his connexion with Ireland; but he could not refrain from expressing his regret, that his noble Friend should have thought it his duty to have brought this motion forward; or, he should rather say, that in the prosecution of a certain particular object, he should have deemed it expedient to have done so. If the question should come to a vote, he should feel it his duty to vote against the motion, although he agreed entirely with his noble Friend (the Marquess of Normanby) in his wish that equal rights with England should now be given to Ireland. He objected, however, to his motion, on the ground that it was ill-timed, and therefore mischievous; particularly so at this moment, and under the present circumstances, when it was evident that the result of it would only be to embarrass the Government; and knowing as he (Lord Howden) did of the intelligence and acuteness of the noble Marquess, he could not help thinking that he must himself have been aware that such results must have followed upon his motion. At this late hour of night it certainly was not his intention to follow in detail the two noble Marquesses in their long and splendid speeches. With regard to what had been said by the noble Marquess upon the other side of the House, he entirely agreed, and though he thought proper to make a few general observations—he should not make them in the plural—he thought the speech of the noble Lord who had moved the motion was calculated to excite a feeling in the minds of the people of Ireland that the long standing, compacted, and he would say crying, evils of that country, all lay at the door of the present Government, and that the whole of the mismanagement of that country was to be applied to them, but for whose policy the whole would have been swept away. Noble Lords would, no doubt, give their strenuous support to this motion, from an idea that perhaps a parliamentary vote was necessary to awaken the slumbering energies of the Government; but he thought they would do well to reflect upon what was said of them when they were seated on the Ministerial Benches by that very personage in Ireland, whom he need not name, who never allowed an opportunity to slip where in there was a chance for him to express his hatred and contempt of them. It would no doubt be disagreeable to his noble Friends to recall to their memory the expressions which had often been used by the individual to whom he alluded with respect to them; neither would he disgust the House by repeating the vituperative epithets by which he was accustomed to designate the Whig party. But he might, perhaps, be allowed to put his noble Friends in mind of one of Mr. O'Connell's speeches, as it might tend to relieve the dull tedium of debate. That Gentleman had stated, with reference to the Whigs, that they were mere bars with which the windows were stopped to keep out the cold; that they were not worth one farthing except for the purpose of keeping other parties out. There were two accusations which were generally thrown in the face of the Government; one was, that they were an indifferent or do-nothing Government; the second, that there existed an hostility to Ireland. Could any man say, that at this time of day such a thing as hostility to Ireland was possible? Could it be believed? And yet such charges had been brought in inflammatory speeches by parties who were not responsible in situation, and who, therefore, might say anything which would suit their views, while, on the other hand, the Government were responsible for even any indiscreet expression which might not have a dangerous tendency. Could any man believe that Ireland was not the last thought at night and the first in the morning? There was no more insidious manner of agitating Ireland than by telling that high and noble spirited people that they are neglected by this country; for the Irish, as was the case with all people with noble affections, are a credulous people. He believed that, on the whole, two-thirds of the time of Parliament had been occupied by Irish affairs, to the exclusion, very often, of other most pressing matters. He did not find fault with this. On the contrary, he thought the state of Ireland, and the happiness of its people, were subjects deserving and requiring all their consideration. But could there be any imaginable object in the minds of the Government, even for their own security, and perhaps that was putting it in the most selfish point of view, that could be paramount to the welfare and tranquillisation of Ireland? What use was it, then, except a party use, under any pretext, however plausible, thus to add agitation to agitation, and embarrassment to embarrassment? The wording of the noble Marquess's motion was so inoffensive that he had certainly nothing to say against it, it being, in fact, much milder than could have heen anticipated, or than it would have been three or four days back, when perhaps he imagined that the proceedings in Ireland would have turned out very different to what they have done. But now that the law in Ireland had vindicated itself with its own right hand, he hoped with his noble Friend, and with equal sincerity, that all just complaints might be removed from that country, and that its happiness might be promoted by every possible means. Still he believed that one necessary condition for the happiness of Ireland was an insurance of its tranquillity; and he had no hesitation in avowing his concurrence in what was said by the noble Earl who moved the Address, though at the time he highly disapproved of it on the ground of its being impolitic, that if by chance (which God forbid!) at a future time any measure should be wanting for the welfare of Ireland, to give strength to the Crown or peace to the subject, the call would not be made in vain. His noble Friend had given his opinion upon the Union between the two countries. That was a subject which he should hardly think it right to mention, as he was convinced that every noble Lord in that House was determined to preserve it inviolate; though he was at times inclined to think that some of them—sometimes by acts, sometimes by speeches—did what they could to make it an unhappy Union. With regard to the Repeal of the Union there were two classes of persons—the deluders and the deluded. Among the latter there were a great number of persons who believed that it would lead to good, and to whom nothing was wanting but that instinct of self-preservation which Nature had given to all other creatures. He would say, that the preservation of the Union was but a secondary question to England, whereas to the people of Ireland it was of vital consequence, for, if they should be so unfortunate as to have their wishes conceded,— Magnaque numinibus vota exaudita malignis,"— if they were to cast off the tie which bound them to this country,—if England were to leave them to themselves, not fifty years would roll over their shores before the vaunted "flower of the earth" would be plucked by some unfriendly hand, and the "gem of the sea" would be "set in the crown of a stranger." He asked their Lordships' pardon for trespassing so long on their attention, but there was something so unfortunate in the noble Lord's bringing forward this motion at the present moment, as to force him to give his opinion in condemnation of it.

The Marquis of Normanby

wished to correct a supposition of the noble Lord's and to declare that it was utterly unfounded. He had not altered the terms of his motion; it had not ever been in any other shape; he had never contemplated any other motion; and this had been seen by some of his noble Friends six days ago.

Lord Beaumont

said, that when his noble Friend, the President of the Council, sat down, he felt both pleasure and satisfaction—pleasure, because the measures proposed by Government were indications of a liberal policy—satisfaction—and satisfaction of a personal nature, because the explanation which he (Lord Wharncliffe) had given with regard to the jury in Ireland, justified the conduct which he (Lord Beaumont) had thought proper to pursue, for he not only had declined joining with his co-religionists in complaining of the striking off the Catholic jurors in Ireland, but had tried to persuade many of them not to join in the outcry, and had actually succeeded in prevailing on some to absent themselves from the meeting called on the subject. He was sorry, however, to say, that that feeling of satisfaction was partly shaken by what had since fallen from the noble Earl opposite. If his interpretation of that noble Earl's speech was right, if he had understood the drift of his argument, a slur had been cast indirectly on the Roman Catholics of Ireland. If he mistook not the noble Earl's meaning, the noble Earl had justified the Attorney-general in challenging the jurors, on very different grounds from those which had been so clearly stated by his noble Friend the President of the Council, for the noble Earl had founded his justification on the ground, that the names objected to, were those of Roman Catholics, and not on the ground, that they were those of Repealers; and that Roman Catholics were objectionable, because—for this was the argument of the noble Earl—they believed, that if the Repeal of the Union were carried, the supremacy of the Catholic Church would be established in Ireland, and that, therefore, however unjustifiable they might deem the measures adopted for obtaining a Repeal of the Union to be, they would, as they adopted the Jesuitical principle that the end justified the means, be biased and prejudiced as jurors.

Lord Roden

wished to explain. What he had stated was, that the people were taught to think, that if Repeal were carried, the Protestant religion would be destroyed, and the Roman Catholic religion would be established instead of it. That that being the general feeling, he thought, particularly after the instance of the grand juror whom he mentioned, who, after taking an oath to keep the Queen's and his fellows' counsel, afterwards declared, in the face of the Court, that he did not assent to the finding of the bill of indictment,—that the Attorney-general was bound to be very careful in not putting into the box those who would have such a bias. He said this, without in any degree disparaging the Catholics, or saying that they were not as good as any one else.

Lord Beaumont

said, he would accept the noble Earl's explanation, and in order to make the explanation consistent, he must suppose the noble Earl to believe, that a jury of Roman Catholics would have found the same verdict as the twelve men who were sworn. [Lord Roden: "I will not say that."] But that is the very point to which he wished to come. The noble Earl must allow that, or the imputation he complained of is not removed. He (Lord Beaumont) would allow, that the Attorney-general was justified in objecting to every juror who was tainted with Repeal, and the noble Earl might even say, that as some of the leading Repeaters frequently boasted, that the majority of Roman Catholics were with them, the circumstance of a jury professing that religion was good grounds for concluding that he was tainted with Repeal opinions. But this objection was previous to the jurors being sworn, and even if acted upon, did not imply that if they were sworn, they would not act contrary to their previous bias, and return as conscientious a verdict as that which had actually been given; in which case the verdict would have been the same. [Lord Roden: "I would not go so far."] The noble Earl would not go so far as to say, that the verdict would be the same. What then did he mean? If he thought the verdict a right one, and that it would not be the same if the jury were Roman Catholic, was not that accusing them of bias even after they were sworn? On this ground, he had a right to complain of the noble Earl. The case was self-evident—the same evidence would have been produced before them—the same law laid down, the same facts proved, and the same conclusion must have been come to as had lately been arrived at, if the Roman Catholic jurors would have given, when on their oaths, as conscientious a verdict as that which had been conscientiously returned by the twelve men who had com- posed the jury which had actually pronounced their decision on the case. This he believed, would have been the result if the jury had been Catholic, and on this account he maintained, that the traversers had nothing whatever to complain of. The Attorney-general was justified in striking off those whom he believed to be Repeaters; the cause of the traversers was no ways damaged by the circumstance of there being no Catholics on the jury, and the verdict must have been the same even if the whole twelve had been members of that persuasion. The noble Earl still declined to assent, but he (Lord Beaumont) would take the bright side of the picture drawn by his noble Friend the Lord President, instead of looking at the darker colouring given to the subject by the noble Earl opposite, and admitting the explanation given by a Minister of the Crown as the most likely to be the correct one, he (Lord Beaumont) would drop the subject by assuring their Lordships, that he believed the Attorney-general had only done his duty, and done it in the most conscientious manlier. In regard of the general question, he (Lord Beaumont differed from his noble Friend (Lord Howden) who had just addressed them; for he (Lord Howden) objected to the measure on account of the time it was introduced, whereas, he (Lord Beaumont) supported it on that very ground. He thought the present was the most fitting and proper time for the House to adopt such a resolution. If their Lordships ever remembered anything so unimportant as what had formerly been stated by him, they would recollect that last year he (Lord Beaumont) said, that whatever conciliatory measures they then proposed would be considered as concessions wrung from their fears, and that they ought to suppress agitation before thinking of any attempts to conciliate hostile interests by measures of concession. That had now been done—the agitation had ceased—peace had been restored, justice done, and the present was peculiarly the moment when concessions might be made without detriment to the character of the House or the Government. As they had now carried the law into execution, had put down the system of combined agitation which had been declared illegal, and vindicated the lawful authority of the Crown, they now stood on such high grounds that whatever they would propose in the way of remedies for Irish grievances, would be regarded not as concessions wrung from fear, but as the acts of their own free will and bounty. The present was therefore, the very moment to consider, what measures of a conciliatory nature might be proposed. He was, however, in some degree disappointed, both with what had fallen from his noble Friend behind him, and with what had been stated in the speech of his noble Friend the President of the Council; for with regard to the former, he had expected that some great and broad course of policy would have been laid down—some clear and decisive line distinctly traced out—some positive measures proposed, in fact that the noble Marquess would have laid before the House his plan of campaign against the growing evils, and, considering his knowledge and experience as to the state and temper of Ireland, taken upon himself to put forth his views as to future policy, and propounded the measures which he thought best for the welfare of Ireland, so that the House might have had the option of choosing between what he (the Marquess of Normanby) proposed, and what had been so plainly and candidly stated by his noble Friend opposite. But unfortunately the noble Marquess only urged the House to propose measures but suggested none himself. He was disappointed with what had fallen from his noble Friend opposite, the President of the Council, for though the measures proposed were all in a right direction, they had been put forth by the noble Lord on the part of the Government, as though they were its ultimatum, the very utmost and furthest extent to which they would go. The evils to be remedied were great, and he thought the remedies proposed were not equal to the extent of the evils. He (Lord Beaumont) did not attempt to disguise from himself the great difficulty which attended all legislation on the state of Ireland. That difficulty consisted in the existence of two extreme opinions, which prevailed unfortunately to a great extent, and caused all intermediate steps, all that came between those two extreme opinions, to be considered as half measures which did not go effectually to the root of the evil, nor meet the crying exigences of the country. Though he alluded to these opinions, and would mention them as the great difficulty which at tended all discussion on this question, he would beg of their Lordships to bear in mind that he (Lord Beaumont) did not coincide with either. One or other of these extreme opinions were held by a majority of the people in Ireland, a certain number of persons in this country, and by some and not a few on the Continent, and so virulent were both these opinions, that like a poisonous mineral they infected the system (if he might use the expression) and crept into the veins of every measure proposed, and turned things good in themselves into a source of evil. One of these opinions prevailed amongst the Ultra-Protestant party, the other had a far more extensive influence amongst their most prominent opponents, and both were based on that delicate subject, religion and the animosity which sprung from religious zeal. He knew that there were many amongst his co-religionists, who believed that nothing, would relieve or even ameliorate the condition of Ireland, till the supremacy of the Protestant Church was destroyed, and such persons looked on all other proposals as perfectly inefficient and absurd. He need not repeat that he differed totally in opinion with these people, but he thought it necessary to state that he was convinced that no measure however good and excellent in itself, would satisfy them, in order to show that the condemnation certain proposed plans were likely to meet with in that quarter, would be no proof (with him at least) that they were not both good and efficient measures. He (Lord Beaumont), would put both extreme parties out of the question as entertaining impracticable notions, and not draw the conclusion from their dissatisfaction, that the Government had not done wisely in the measures it proposed. The noble Earl opposite went further still and said, that there were some even, who wished to establish the supremacy of the Catholic religion on the ruins of the Protestant. Now, he (Lord Beaumont) thought the number who entertained such a wish very small indeed—he believed that Catholics generally dreaded Catholic supremacy as much as they dislike Protestant supremacy. The object they have in view is the voluntary principle and the dependence of the clergy on the good-will of their parishioners. This lead him to the question of paying the Roman Catholic Clergy; whatever might be the merits of that proposal, he must observe that one circumstance had now effectually prevented that offer from being made, namely the late distinct refusal of the Roman Catholic clergy themselves to accept any such grant at the hands of Government. He knew not on what grounds the refusal had been made, but he was not sorry that it had been made, for if they had accepted it it would not materially alter their social connections or political influence in Ireland; for though some few of them might receive a sum of money and so have no motive any longer to join in agitation and keep alive discontent, their co-adjutors, who would not be paid, would do the work of mischief instead of the parish priest—become the favourites of the people and carry on all the active business of the district. They must regulate the clergy as well as pay them, or no good will follow. For these reasons he would object to that plan, though he had heard it stated by many persons better acquainted with Ireland than he was, that such a provision ought to be given, because if given, it would tend to relieve parishioners from many of the charges to which they were now liable; for the latter object he would suggest that the Government should rather assign them glebes—assist in building residences for the parish priest and advance money to build churches—in which case the Government would have the satisfaction of seeing that the money did not fall into idle and unworthy hands. In all other countries this was done; in Constantinople, the Sultan was in the habit of building and repairing the Christian churches: if some such steps as these were taken by Government, the people would be relieved from one of the heaviest taxes levied at present by the Catholic clergy upon them, for when it was known that a sum had been advanced and assistance afforded for building the necessary places of worship, the laity would remit the demand so constantly made for subscriptions to keep in repair the chapels of their persuasion. As to the other subject which had been alluded to by noble Lords who had preceded him, he (Lord Beaumont) must confess that he did not much approve of the Land Tenure Commission, because if Parliament once interfered with landlords in Ireland and tied them down in the use of their property, he was afraid the interference would soon be extended to England and great con- fusion in the agreements between landlord and tenant would ensue. Noble Lords must be aware that it was impossible to adopt an uniform rule in all agreements, and that the number of years' compensation for improvements allowed outgoing tenants must differ according to the variety of circumstances and the nature of the improvements; he, therefore, begged of them to be cautious how they interfered, and take care that they did not add another source of discontent to the owners of real property, for, what with the Anti Corn-law League and their actual burthens they had already plagues enough upon their hands. He would now, in conclusion, express his satisfaction at the hopes held out of measures favourable to the future well-being and suited to the present state of Ireland; but while he acknowledged his admiration of the clear, candid, and able statement of the Lord President of the Council, he (Lord Beaumont) would still add, that he should like to see Government induced to go a little further in the same direction, and for that purpose he would give his cordial support to the motion of his noble Friend near him.

On the Motion of Lord Campbell, who rose amidst cries of "Divide," and "Go on," the Debate was adjourned to Thursday.

The House adjourned to Thursday.

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